In the 15th century, in a tiny village of Nuremberg, lived the Durer family with 18 children. Despite seemingly hopeless conditions, two of the children, Albrecht and Albert who showed some talent in art, shared a dream of pursuing their talent for art, but knew their father would never be financially able to send either of them to the academy to study.
However, after many long discussions between them at night in their crowded bed, the two boys worked out a pact. They tossed a coin to determine which one would be the first to go down into the nearby mines to work and, with his earnings, support his brother while the other attended the Nuremberg Academy.
Albrecht won the toss and went off to the academy at Nuremberg. Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother whose work was almost an immediate sensation.
When the young artist returned to his village, the family held a festive dinner to celebrate his triumphant homecoming. After long and memorable meal, Albrecht the graduate artist rose to drink a toast to his brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled him to fulfill his life ambition. His closing words were:
“And now Albert, blessed brother of mine, it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg Academy to pursue your dream and I will take care of you.”
Albert sat, tears streaming down his face, shaking his lowered head from side to side. Finally, he rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. Holding his hand close to his right cheek, he said softly,
“No brother, I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvass with a pen or brush. No brother, for me it is too late.”
So one day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother’s abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply “HANDS”.
But the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and people renamed this tribute of love
“THE PRAYING HANDS”
Now, the touching creation is a reminder that no one – not anyone with some modicum of success in life – ever makes it alone.
Source: This piece was once seen on the Notice Board of Leadway Assurance Plc., Kaduna, in Northern Nigeria