Praying Hands

Praying Hands
Artist Albrecht Dürer
Year c. 1508
Medium Drawing
Location Albertina, Vienna
Dimensions 11.5 in × 7.8 in
29.1 cm × 19.7 cm
Famous Paintings by Albrecht Dürer
Young Hare
Adam and Eve
Praying Hands
Knight, Death and the Devil
Self-Portrait of Albrecht Dürer
Melencolia I
Adoration of the Trinity

Praying Hands by Albrecht Dürer is a famous ink and pencil drawing created in the early 14th century. The drawing is on blue colored paper that the artist made himself. Praying Hands is part of a series of sketches that Dürer drew for an altarpiece. The drawing shows the hands of a man praying with his body out of view on the right. The sleeves of the man are folded and noticeable in the painting. The paper was made by the artist himself and portrays blue and green tones. Praying Hands is a sketch.

Where is Praying Hands?

Praying Hands was part of a painting which took Dürer more than a year to complete. It was intended to be part of a piece called Heller Alter. Although the original work was lost in a fire in the 18th century, a close copy of the painting done by Jobst Harrich remains at Albertina Museum in Vienna.

The Origin

The work was originally requested by Jakob Heller and is named after him. Although there are many rumors and stories about Dürer using his brother’s hands as a reference and the man’s hands suffering with some affliction, it is much more likely that Dürer modeled the hands after his own. The same hands can be observed in some of his other works.

Durer is one of the most noted German Renaissance artists and became very famous in his lifetime. He is still noted as one of the most influential figures of his time. He was a watercolor landscape artist and furthered the art of woodcut sculpting. Durer’s work often incorporated classic motifs and he wrote in great length about being inspired by his theological beliefs. Some of his other well-known work is Melencolia, Saint Jerome in His Study and Knight, Death and The Devil.

13 responses to “Praying Hands”

  1. jeff manson says:

    How lovely! I, being a simple minded american thought Germany didn’t get Christianity or Catholicism until 1930’s haha!

  2. Alini Singh says:

    Finally I get to know the story behind the praying hands!!!!

  3. John Smith says:

    The praying Hands is a magical work of art. I chose it for my History project because of the simplicity of the painting. It actually might be the easiest work of art on earth to make a replica of.

  4. Bryce Hook says:

    This peice is just marvelous. I think this is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen through my two eyes in my life. Sometimes I just think about the significance of this painting and what it means to my meaning of life. Thank you toally history for teaching me about this painting!!!!!!

  5. josh garcia says:

    i feel that this painting has changed my life for the better i think that i will stop commiting to a life of crime. i love this painting its amazing it makes me think. thank you Albrecht Dürer<3

  6. Ron Bell says:

    Created in the 16th century, not 14th

  7. L. Lacher says:

    1508 is in the 16th century, not the 14th!

  8. palak says:

    very nice i would love to find some more information about it

  9. Jody says:

    I was asked to do a sketch to express my view in art on pray for our Bible group. I knew The Praying Hand sketch, so that’s what l did as thought everyone could relate to the simple beauty of this recognisable sketch.When it was shown, one of my Bible friend’s told us the story her Mother had told her. Beautiful & moving, will never forget, The Artist, The Sketch, My Dear Friend for sharing the story her Mother had told her ?

  10. says:

    D pra’in hands…hmmm interesting.. But woabout the meaning ofvit?
    My prayer iz that others are discovered too.. By the way… I appreciate d publisher of this.. Im pretty sure da it helped others just dway it helped me?

  11. Linda frye says:

    I pray ever night

  12. Linda frye says:

    I pray ever night before I go to bed

  13. hi says:

    Good painting.

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