There are literally millions of tattoos decorating the bodies of humans across the globe. Tattoos are a very personal expression of self and people get them for a variety of reasons. Because they are obviously permanent, a great deal of thought and reflection needs to go into each one before you go under the needle! Religious faith is often expressed through body art and one of the most popular symbols for this is a set of praying hands. You can find praying hands tattoos all over the world and there are a wide variety of designs.
One of the most widely reproduced tattoos ever is a painting done by Albrecht Dürer called "The Praying Hands." He was a fifteenth century Germany artist who painted the piece after he was commissioned to do so by the mayor of Frankfurt. The story behind the painting is that the hands are those of Dürer's brother who gave up his life's dream so that he could work to support his brother's artistry. The story goes that both brothers wanted to be artists. Coming from a poor family, they knew it would be virtually impossible. Late one night they came up with a plan. They would flip a coin and the loser would have to work in the mines to support the other's artwork. Albrecht was the lucky one and his brother fulfilled his promise. This was the artist's tribute to him. If it's true, it is a beautiful testament to love and sacrifice. Getting this tattoo for your praying hands tattoo says a lot about how you feel when it comes to keeping your word and putting others above yourself. It is a beautiful and classic choice.
Today, praying hands usually symbolize either a person's religious beliefs or their memory of a loved one. Often when someone is lost tattoos couple praying hands with either their name or some important date. It can become a strong reminder of who the person was and about where the wearer believes they have gone. Sometimes parents get smaller praying hands tattoos to symbolize a child they've lost. It can be especially sentimental if the tattoo artist uses an actually photo of the child's hands for the design. Similarly, children can do the same thing if they lose their parents. It can feel as though their mom or dad's hands are always on their shoulder guiding them through life even if they can't be physically present. It can be a huge comfort and it can help people overcome their deep grief.
With all the praying hands tattoos out there, it can be daunting when deciding which one is right for you. Take your time! There are hundreds and hundreds of designs online. Make sure the tattoo artist you choose is familiar with the detail and complexity of the human hand. Ask questions and always look at samples of his or her previous work. If you do your research, you'll end up with a tattoo you can treasure for the rest of your life.