Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it.
Great Artists, Praying Hands, and Albrecht Durer
Late in the fifteenth century, two young and zealous wood-carving apprentices in France confided in each other their craving to study painting. Such study would take money and both Hans and Albrecht had none. Their joint solution was to have one work and earn money while the other one studied. When the lucky one became rich and famous, he would work and aid the other one. They tossed a coin and Albrecht won. Albrecht quickly went to Venice to study painting while Hans worked as a blacksmith.
After many hard years, at last Albrecht returned home as an independent master. Now it was his turn to help Hans. However, when Albrecht looked at his friend, tears welled in his eyes. Only then did he discover the extent of his friend’s sacrifice. The years of heavy labor in the blacksmith shop had calloused and enlarged Hans’ sensitive hands. Hans could never be a painter. In humble gratitude to Hans for his years of sacrifice, the great artist, Albrecht Durer, painted a portrait of the work-worn hands that sacrificed so much so that he might develop his talent. He presented this painting of praying hands to his devoted friend. Today, this master piece is a symbol of love and sacrifice and is familiar to millions of people throughout the world.