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MEMLING

(Hans Memling, C.1440-1494)

The School of Bruges was ever popular in the fifteenth century. It got off to a flying start with the incomparable art of Jan van Eyck and was continued by his successor, Petrus Christus. The formulaic but appealing painting of Hans Memling was conservative, technically highly skillful, and spiritually reassuring. His was the other side of the coin of later Netherlandish painting as represented by the work of Hugo van der Goesand Rogier van der Weyden, whose paintings may display anxiety or aristocratic introspection.

Born near Cologne, where he probably received his first training, Memling may have gone to Brussels, where he worked with van der Weyden; he would then have gone on to Bruges, where he became extremely and deservedly successful. His was and is an art that proclaims, "All's right with the world," a message that appealed equally to Northern Italian, and Spanish patrons through its sweet equilibrium. At the peak of his career, Memling may already have assumed a certain nostalgia, close to a Gothic revival approximating, in the happiest sense, a Burgundian deja vu that allowed the foreign patron or collector to associate himself or herself with a more modest variant of the opulence and substance of ducal high life. Often working for Italian and Spanish clients, Memling was also open to such Renaissance elements as a new sense for abstract form, and for the characterization of the Child that was close to these foreign sources. His Madonna and Child, painted for Benedetto Portinari, was originally a diptych flanked by a portrait of the donor. His patron saint, Benedict, was seen on the cover of the altar (both now in the Uffizi).

An impromptu throne has been made from a bench for a Madonna and Child Enthroned, a cloth of honor draped behind the subjects. While it is unquestionably beautiful in detail - in such features as the flowers in an Italian ceramic vessel, or the wonderfully painted open holy book and a vibrant landscape - this picture no longer hangs together, as if the artist selected random motifs from his pattern book but could not quite create a unifying setting.

Even before the impact of the later Italian Renaissance was felt in the Lowlands, the art of the Northern region had become exhausted from within. Neither conviction nor invention sufficed to sustain the achievements of the masters of the past.

From Colin Eisler, "Masterworks in Berlin: A City's Paintings Reunited"

 MEMLING_PORTINARI

Memling, Hans Tommaso Portinari and his Wife ca. 1470 Oil on wood Left: 17 3/8 x 13 1/4 in. (44.1 x 33.7 cm) Right: 17 3/8 x 13 3/8 in. (44.1 x 34 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 MEMLING_OLD_WMN

Memling, Hans Portrait of an Old Woman 1468-70 Oil on panel 10 1/8 x 6 15/16 in. (25.6 x 17.7 cm) Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

 MEMLING_MEMLING_MAN

Memling, Hans Portrait of a Man c. 1470 Oil on panel 13 1/8 x 9 1/8 in. (33.5 x 23.2 cm) Frick Collection, New York

 MEMLING_MEMLING

Memling, Hans The Resurrection, with the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian and the Ascension (triptych) Wood Central panel 24 1/2 x 17 1/2 in. (62 x 45 cm); wings 24 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. (62 x 19 cm) Musee du Louvre, Paris

memling_The_Mystic_Marriage_of_St

Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine. (Central panel of the St. John Altar). 1474-1479. Oil on wood. Memlingmuseum, Stedelijke Musea, Bruges, Belgium

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Memling

Hans Memling. Chalice of St. John the Evangelist. The reverse side of St. Veronica. Oil on wood. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

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Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Madonna and Child with Angels. c. 1480. Oil on wood. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

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Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Portrait of a Man with an Arrow. c. 1470. Oil on wood. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

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Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Portrait of a Man in a Landscape. Oil on panel. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.

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Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Madonna and Child with Two Angels. Oil on panel. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.

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Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Portrait of Benedetto di Tommaso Portinari. 1487. Oil on panel. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.

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Memling

Hans Memling. St. Benedict. 1487. Oil on panel. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.

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Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Portrait of a Man. Oil and resins on panel. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.

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Memling

Hans Memling. Portrait of an Old Woman. Oil on wood. Louvre, Paris, France

memling_The_Resurrection,_with_the_Martyrdom_of_St

Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. The Resurrection, with the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian and the Ascension. Triptych. Oil on wood. Louvre, Paris, France

memling_The_Martyrdom_of_St

Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. The Martyrdom of St. Ursula's Companions and The Martyrdom of St. Ursula. From the Shrine of St. Ursula, consecrated in 1489. Oil on wood. Sint Janshospitaal, Bruges, Belgium

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Memling

Hans Memling. St. John the Baptist and St. Mary Magdalen. Wings of a triptych. Oil on wood. Louvre, Paris, France.

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Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. The Virgin and Child between St. James and St. Dominic, Presenting the Donors and Their Families, known as the Virgin of Jacques Floreins. Oil on wood. Louvre, Paris, France

memling_Tommaso_Portinari_and_his_Wife

Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Tommaso Portinari and his Wife. Part of diptych. c. 1470. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

memling_Tommaso_Portinari_and_his_Wife

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Memling

Hans Memling. Tommaso Portinari and his Wife. Part of diptych. c. 1470. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.

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Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Madonna and Child. c. 1487. Oil on wood. Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

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Memling

Hans Memling. Madonna and Child Enthroned. c. 1480-90. Oil on wood. Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

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Memling

Hans Memling. Bathsheba. c. 1482. Oil on panel. Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany.

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Memling

Hans Memling. The Virgin and Child with an Angel, St. George and a Donor. c. 1470-80. Oil on wood. National Gallery, London, UK.

memling_Portrait_of_an_Italian_with_a_Roman_Coin_(Giovannide_Candida)

Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Portrait of an Italian with a Roman Coin (Giovannide Candida). 1470. Oil on panel. Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium.

memling_Altar_of_Saints_John_the_Baptist_and_John_the_Evangelist

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Memling

Hans Memling. Altar of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist. Oil on wood. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

memling_Portrait_of_a_Praying_Man

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Memling

Hans Memling. Portrait of a Praying Man. c.1480- 1485. Oil on wood. Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza, Schloss Rohoncz, Castagnola, Spain.

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Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Adam and Eve. The reverse side of the wings of the Altar of Saints John the the Baptist and John the Evangelist. Oil on wood. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

memling_Portrait_of_a_Reading_Man

Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Portrait of a Reading Man. c. 1485. Oil on wood. Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary.

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Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Portrait of a Praying Woman. c.1485. Oil on wood. Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary.

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Memling

Hans Memling. Crucifixion. 1491. Oil on wood. Szepmuveseti Muzeum, Budapest, Hungary

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Memling

Hans Memling. Crucifixion. Detail. 1491. Oil on wood. Szepmuveseti Muzeum, Budapest, Hungary.

memling_St _John_the_Evangelist

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Memling

Hans Memling. St. John the Evangelist. Panel of the Donne Triptych. c. 1480. Oil on wood. National Gallery, London, UK

memling_Still_Life_with_a_Jug_with_Flowers

Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. Still Life with a Jug with Flowers. The reverse side of the Portrait of a Praying Man. c.1480- 1485. Oil on wood. Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza, Schloss Rohoncz, Castagnola, Spain.

memling_Triptych:_The_Nativity,_The_Adoration_of_the_Magi,_The_Presentation_in_the_Temple

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Memling

Hans Memling. Triptych: The Nativity, The Adoration of the Magi, The Presentation in the Temple. c.1470s. Oil on panel. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

memling_The_Adoration_of_the_Magi

Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. The Adoration of the Magi. Detail. c.1470s. Oil on panel. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

memling_The_Adoration_of_the_Magi

Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. The Adoration of the Magi. Detail. c.1470s. Oil on panel. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

memling_The_Presentation_in_the_Temple

Memling

Memling

Hans Memling. The Presentation in the Temple. c. 1463. Oil on wood. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

memling_St _Veronica

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Memling

Hans Memling. St. Veronica. c.1480. Oil on wood. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.