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One of the world's most beloved drawings is the famous "praying Hands" of Albrecht Durer,the German artist (1471-1523)

Graphic: Praying hands on a Bible

There is a wonderful story of sacrifice behind the masterpiece.

The young Albrecht Durer was rooming with a fellow art student, but there was not enough money between them for food or lodging. Durer's friend agreed to go to work in the fields so that Albrect could continue his studies.

After weeks of hard labor the friend's hands had become so stiffened by toil that he had to give up his drawing altogether. It was these toil worn hands, which had been sacrificed in his behalf, to give him the opportunity to continue, that Durer rendered so lovingly and with so much feeling.

Durer went on to become one of the great masters, but none of his work is quite so famous as the "Praying Hands" which has come to be a symbol of prayer throughout the world.

So revered is the drawing that a fable has grown up about it - that the household that has a copy will be blessed with happiness and domestic bliss.