Friday, March 23, 2012

Friendship behind the Albrecht Durer's 'Praying Hands'

There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other,
but a real friend sticks closer than a brother
.” (Proverbs 18:24NLT)

Late in the 15th century, two young woodcarving apprentices in France confided to each other their desire to study painting. But this plan would take money, and both Hans and Albrecht were poor.
'Praying Hands' by
Albrecht Duerer
Finally though, they had a solution. One would work and earn money while other studied. Then, when the lucky one becomes rich and famous, he in turn could help the other. They tossed a coin and Albrecht won.
So while Albrecht went to Venice, Hans worked as a blacksmith. As quickly as he received his wages, he forwarded money to his friend.
The months stretched into years – and at last Albrecht returned to his native land, an independent master. Now it was his turn to help Hans. The two met in joyous reunion, but when Albrecht looked at his friend, tears welled in his eyes. Only then did he discover the extent of Hans’s sacrifice. The many years of heavy labor in the blacksmith shop had calloused and bruised Hans’s sensitive hands. His fingers could never handle a painter’s brush.

In humble gratitude to Hans for his years of sacrifice, the artist, the great Albrecht Durer, painted a portrait of the work worn hands that had labored so faithfully so that he might develop his talent. He presented this painting of praying hands to his devoted friend.
Today this masterpiece, a symbol of friendship and sacrifice, is familiar to millions of people throughout the world. [There are many version of this story, however.] 

This is a story of friendship and sacrifice. It reminds me of a quote, “It costs to be a friend or to have a friend. It not only costs time, affection, patience, love, but sometimes a man must even lay down his life for his friends. There is no true friendship without self-abnegation, self-sacrifice.” (Anonymous) THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
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