Study of Praying Hands (1508) by Albrecht Durer

Study of Praying Hands - Albrecht Durer - c.1508

Artwork Information

TitleStudy of Praying Hands
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Dimensions29 x 20 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationAlbertina, Vienna, Austria

About Study of Praying Hands

The artwork, “Study of Praying Hands,” was created by artist Albrecht Dürer around 1508. This piece is a notable example of a sketch and study from the Northern Renaissance era. It is made on paper and measures 29 x 20 cm. Today, the artwork is housed in the Albertina museum located in Vienna, Austria.

The artwork depicts a pair of hands joined together in a posture of prayer. The meticulous attention to detail is evident, with the artist having rendered the textures and contours of the skin with extraordinary precision. The veins, wrinkles, and folds of the skin on the hands are brought to life with delicate, fine lines, likely achieved through a technique such as silverpoint or pen drawing. The subtle shading and intricate play of light and shadow contribute to the three-dimensional effect of the hands.

While the hands are the central element of the piece, they rest upon what appears to be an object with draped fabric, which further exhibits Dürer’s mastery in depicting textures and forms. The positioning of the hands and the folds of the cloth form a harmonious composition that accentuates the solemnity and devotion intended by the study. This work, while ostensibly a preparatory drawing for a larger piece, stands on its own as a masterful demonstration of the artist’s skill and his contribution to the art of the Northern Renaissance.

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