Praying Hands (Dürer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Praying Hands
German: Betende Hände
Betende Hände
Artist Albrecht Dürer
Year c. 1508
Type drawing
Dimensions 29.1 cm × 19.7 cm (11.5 in × 7.8 in)
Location Albertina, Vienna

Praying hands (German: Betende Hände), also known as Study of the Hands of an Apostle (German: Studie zu den Händen eines Apostels), is a pen-and-ink drawing by the German printmaker, painter and theorist Albrecht Dürer, executed c. 1508. The artwork is stored at Albertina museum — Graphische Sammlung in Vienna, Austria. Dürer used white heightening technique and black ink on (self-made) blue colored paper. The drawing shows two male hands palm to palm praying, the body to the right (not seen). Also, the partly up-folded sleeves of the prayer are seen.

The drawing is a sketch (study) for an apostles' hand who was planned to be in the center panel of the triptych for the Heller Altar, which was destroyed by a fire in 1729.[1] The hand sketch appears on the triptych in the inside center panel on the right in similarity, although in smaller size. On the same paper is a sketch of the apostle's head, but the sheet has been divided from it. Overall, Dürer made 18 sketches for the altarpiece.[2]

The first public recognition of the artwork was in 1871 when it was exhibited in Vienna.[3]

The image depicts probably the master's own hands.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

The 2015 Drake album If You're Reading This It's Too Late includes a stylized version of the Dürer original on the album cover.[5]

In Ronald Harwood's The Dresser, after Norman applies make up to "Sir"'s hands, he states, "There! Albert Durer couldn't have done better."[6]

In 2011 Pavlos Tsakonas, student at the Athens School Of Fine Arts, made a graffiti mural based on Dürer's original drawing.[7] The mural is on the side of a 10-story building in the center of Athens, at Peiraios 20 street. The version is altered to have the hands pointing downwards.


  1. ^ Robert Perry Hardison (Barefoot): "Dürer". Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  2. ^ (German) Die Welt "Wie Albrecht Dürer die Betenden Hände erfand", 24 December 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  3. ^ (German) Kultur: "Dürers „Betende Hände“ Tausendmal kopiert", 22 November 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  4. ^ (German) Theophil-online, ökumenische Online-Zeitschrift: "Call God - Materialien für einen alternativen Zugang zum Thema Gebet im Religionsunterricht - 2.3.5. Variationen zu Albrecht Dürers Betende Hände", Gerd Buschmann 2002. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  5. ^ "Drake's "6 God" Art Was Inspired by a Dead German Painter" 15 March 2015. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  6. ^ Harwood, Ronald (1982-01-01). The Dresser. Samuel French, Inc. ISBN 9780573608438. 
  7. ^ "H προσευχή του Ντύρερ σε τοιχογραφία κτιρίου στην Ομόνοια | Athens Street Art". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Retrieved 2016-06-29.