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Durer painted the famous "Praying Hands" for advertising, says the expert.

This is a finished work, not a preparatory drawing, and on it are the hands of the artist himself, the chief curator of the Vienna Albertina believes.Albrecht Dürer's "Hands of a Praying Man" (1508) was not, as had been supposed for centuries, a preparatory drawing for the painted altar. This is a finished work intended to advertise the talent of the master. Such a revolutionary theory was advanced by Christoph Metzger, chief curator of the Vienna Albertina Gallery, on the eve of a major retrospective of the artist, scheduled for the end of next year. The expert also claims that the figure shows the hands of the master himself. If so, then there are intriguing questions about the physiology of the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance.

Albrecht Durer, "Praying Hands" (1508). Albertina Gallery, Vienna
“Hands of a Praying Man” is now one of the most famous drawings of all time. Christoph Metzger says that in popularity he is second only to Vitruvian Man (ca. 1490) to Leonardo da Vinci. After more than five centuries, reproductions of Dürer’s works continue to adorn the homes of millions of people, as religious icons.
Since the XIX century, it was believed that the hands were a preparatory sketch for the figure of the apostle in the lower right corner of the central panel of the altar of Geller (completed in 1509). It is named after the merchant who ordered it from Frankfurt.

The original board was destroyed by fire in 1729, but a good copy was preserved, made by Jobst Harrick and now in the Frankfurt Historical Museum.
Arguments in favor of the fact that drawing with ink and whitewash is a preliminary sketch were put forward quite recently, at two important exhibitions in 2013. One was held at the Shtedelev Art Institute in Frankfurt am Main, and the second at the National Gallery of Art in Washington (where Heinz Wiedauer, a colleague of Christoph Metzger in Albertine, wrote the introduction to the catalog).Altar of Geller (Altar of the Assumption of Mary). ReconstructionAlbrecht Durer1500th, 190 × 260 cmRead also: Says and shows. Albrecht Dürer's quotes about parents, dancing, limping, divine and beautiful

Albrecht Dürer, fragment of the altar of Geller (praying apostle), 1509. Historical Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Metzger argues that scientists are mistaken: why did Durer make a separate detailed picture just to reduce it to a tiny detail on the painted altar? “The work is a miracle of observation, and it is too ambitious to be just a preliminary sketch,” he says. “Dürer made this„ master-drawing “to show the visitors of his workshop an example of God-given talent”.

According to Metzger, “Praying Hands” and several other drawings were created “for advertising” and were shown to potential clients so that they understand the quality of orders the artist can perform.
The curator of Albertina also believes that the figure shows the hands of Dürer himself. “Very thin fingers and palms are similar to those we see on the 1500 year self-portrait from the Munich Pinakothek. The figure on the little finger of the partially hidden left hand seems to be a curvature or seal of the joints, as shown in other self portraits, such as the 1498 drawing from the Metropolitan Museum, ”said Christoph Metzger.Self PortraitAlbrecht Durer1500, 67 × 49 cmSelf-portrait with holly (Self-portrait with thistle) Albrecht Durer1493, 56 × 44 cmSelf-etude with hands and pillows (front side of the sheet) Albrecht Durer1493, 27.8 × 20.2 cmResuspect of Albrecht Dürer in the Albertina Gallery in Vienna should start work on September 20, 2019 and finish on January 6, 2020.Arthiv: read us in Telegram and look at Instagram
Based on The Art Newspaper