Hand Study with Bible (1506) by Albrecht Durer

Hand Study with Bible - Albrecht Durer - 1506

Artwork Information

TitleHand Study with Bible
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationAlbertina, Vienna, Austria

About Hand Study with Bible

“Hand Study with Bible” is an artwork created by the renowned artist Albrecht Dürer in 1506. As a significant figure of the Northern Renaissance, Dürer crafted this piece as a sketch and study which portrays a pair of hands gripping a Bible or a similarly large book. The artwork is an exemplary demonstration of Dürer’s skill in rendering the human form with meticulous attention to detail and the drawing forms part of the collection of the Albertina museum in Vienna, Austria.

In the drawing, we see a highly detailed close-up of two hands clasped together, resting on the edge of a thick book, seemingly a Bible given the title of the piece. One hand is placed over the other, with the fingers closed and interlocking in a relaxed yet firm grasp. The depiction of the skin’s texture and the folds are realistic, showcasing Dürer’s mastery of light and shadow to create depth and dimensionality.

Dürer’s monogram and the year of the artwork’s completion, “1506,” are inscribed below the hands, serving as a signature and date combined. The stark realism, careful shadowing, and depiction of the aged hands suggest a spiritual reverence and human humility that resonates with the religious atmosphere of the time. The choice of a monochromatic palette emphasizes the forms and textures within the composition, drawing focus to the expressive nature of the hands and their silent communication.

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