Was it Albert or Albrecht… Did You Know

You may not know them by name but I am sure you have seen their work. Here’s what you probably didn’t know. Albert and Albrecht Durer were brothers of sixteen other siblings in Germany near Nuremburg during the fifteenth century. Their father was a goldsmith by trade and worked with gold from a local goldmine. They both had a passion and talent for art but with sixteen other siblings they knew their family couldn’t afford to send them both to school. The story goes, one Sunday after church the family gathered around and a coin was tossed, the winner would go on to school to pursue his passion for art.

Albrecht won the toss that day and in fact went on to Nuremburg to attend school and his brother Albert labored in the local goldmine mine, up to 18 hours each day to help put his beloved brother through school. The deal was when Albrecht was finished with school, he would work in the mine or as an artist to return the love of his brother and put Albert through school.

Working in the mine was very difficult and took a heavy toll on Albert’s hands but he kept up the work to put his brother through school.

The day came when Albrecht finished school and returned home. With great joy Albrecht told Albert, “now brother, I’ll work and you may go to school.” But Albert said that his time has passed for you see over the years of working in the mine his hands had become callused, arthritic and scared. He could no longer hold a brush with such hands.

Albrecht asked one last favor of Albert and that was that he pose for a painting. Albert did in fact pose and together their work became known world-wide by millions of people. First as a still life painting and later a sculpture of the praying hands. Those crippled damaged hands that are folded in prayer to be for all the world to see a symbol of prayer. As the late Paul Harvey used to say, now you know the rest of the story that those hands also represent sacrifice from one brother to help another with the passion they both shared.

The lesson… You need not always be the artist or the star to be famous!

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