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英语散文:祈祷之手

发表时间:2011/4/2字号:T|T
Thetruestorybehindawell-knownpieceofart: Backinthefifteenthcentury,inatinyvillagenearNuremberg,livedafamilywitheighteenchildren.Eighteen!Inordermerelytokeepfoodonthetableforthismob,thefatherandheadof...
      The true story behind a well-known piece of art:
      Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood. Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer the Elder's children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.
       After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring the mines.
       They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg. Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.
       When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you."
       All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over, "No no no no."
       Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look look what four years in the mines has done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother for me it is too late."
       More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.
       One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands."
       The next time you see a copy of that touching creation, take a second look. Let it be your reminder, if you still need one, that no one -no one ever makes it alone!





      德国艺术大师Albrecht Durer有一幅名画“祈祷之手”,这幅画的背后有一则爱与牺牲的故事。
      十五世纪时,在德国的一个小村庄里,住了一个有十八个孩子的家庭。父亲是一名冶金匠,为了维持一家生计,他每天工作十八个小时。
      生活尽管窘迫逼人,然而这个家庭其中两个孩子却有一个同样的梦想。他们两人都希望可以发展自己在艺术方面的天份。不过他们也了解,父亲无法在经济上供他们俩到纽伦堡艺术学院读书。 
晚上,两兄弟在床上经过多次讨论后,得出结论:以掷铜板决定──胜者到艺术学院读书,败者则到附近的矿场工作赚钱;四年后,在矿场工作的那一个再到艺术学院读书,由学成毕业那一个赚钱支持。如果需要,可能也要到矿场工作。
      星期日早上做完礼拜,他们掷了铜板,结果,弟弟Albrecht Durer胜出,去了纽伦堡艺术学院。哥哥Albert则去了危险的矿场工作,四年来一直为弟弟提供经济支持。Albrecht在艺术学院表现很突出,他的油画简直比教授的还要好。到毕业时,他的作品已经能赚不少钱了。
      在这位年轻的艺术家返回家乡的那一天,家人为他准备了盛宴,庆祝他学成归来。当漫长而难忘的宴席快要结束时,伴随着音乐和笑声,亚尔伯起身答谢敬爱的哥哥几年来对他的支持,他说:“现在轮到你了,亲爱的哥哥,我会全力支持你到纽伦堡艺术学院攻读,实现你的梦想!”
      所有的目光都急切地转移到桌子的另一端,坐在那里的Albert双泪直流,只见他垂下头,边摇头边重复说着:“不……不……”
      终于,Albert站了起来他,擦干脸颊上的泪水,看了看长桌两边他所爱的亲友们的脸,把双手移近右脸颊,说:“不,弟弟,我上不了纽伦堡艺术学院了。太迟了。看看我的双手──四年来在矿场工作,毁了我的手,关节动弹不得,现在我的手连举杯为你庆贺也不可能,何况是挥动画笔或雕刻刀呢?不,弟弟……已经太迟了……”
      四百五十多年过去了,Albrecht Durer有成千上百部的杰作流传下来,他的速写、素描、水彩画、木刻、铜刻等可以在世界各地博物馆找到;然而,大多数人最为熟悉的,却是其中的一件作品。也许,你的家里或者办公室里就悬挂着一件它的复制品。
      为了补偿哥哥所做的牺牲,表达对哥哥的敬意,一天,Albrecht Durer下了很大的工夫把哥哥合起的粗糙的双手刻了下来。他把这幅伟大的作品简单地称为“双手”,然而,全世界的人都立刻敞开心扉,瞻仰这幅杰作,把这幅爱的作品重新命名为“祈祷之手”。
      下次当你看到这幅感人的作品,仔细看一下。如果你也需要这么一幅画,就让它成为你的提醒,没有──它是世上独一无二的事物。
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