“Hands of a Prayer”, Albrecht Durer – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Hands of the Prayer – Albrecht Durer. About 1508. 29.1 x 19.7 cm

   Hands folded in a prayer gesture. This drawing is the most famous of the legacy of Albrecht Dürer, an outstanding Renaissance master with a “German residence permit”.

   It is believed that the drawing was made by the painter as a training session before working on the central part of the “Geller’s Altar”, the famous triptych for the Dominican monastery, which Dürer created in collaboration with Matthias Grunewald. The careful work was fully justified – the altar itself, and all the sketches for it, became a great work of art.

   For Dürer, it was important to depict hands with anatomical accuracy. As a “model” the master took his left hand … Yes, yes, it was his left. We see one master’s hand in the picture, and the right hand was depicted using a mirror in which the left was reflected. However, there is another theory that suggests that Brother Durer’s hands are in the drawing.

   In addition to the hands, the head of the praying apostle was still depicted on a large sheet. Later, the drawings were divided. It is interesting that the author saved all his “training drawings” as some cribs, and later used already worked out elements in other paintings.

   “Hands of a Prayer” are the most recognizable motive of Dürer. The drawing not only has many reproductions, but is even embodied in a sculptural form, as well as in the form of small reliefs (especially common in the USA).

   In addition to artistic value, the figure acquired great cult significance as a symbol of prayer, condolences, confirmation, and generally religious affiliation.

   But if you separate this laconic drawing on blue primed paper, made with white and gray paint, from cultural and religious meanings and meanings, you can see: the value of this work does not decrease at all. Incredibly accurate depiction of the hands of an elderly person with wrinkles and veins, written in dynamics with a certain character cannot but delight and puts this picture in the ranks of significant works of world heritage."