Memling, Hans

Memling or Memlinc, Hans häns mĕm´lĭng, –lĭngk [key], c.1430–1494, Flemish religious and portrait painter, b. Germany. He may have studied with Roger van der Weyden in Brussels, but after 1466 he was in Bruges, working for Flemish patrons and for the many Italian businessmen there. His religious works reflect van der Weyden's figure types, but without their religious intensity. His portraits are more original, combining accuracy of representation with imaginative and varied treatment of the backgrounds. Details, such as flowers, animals, or architecture, are often sensitively observed. An example is his accurate view of Cologne Cathedral as it was in 1489 in the background of the St. Ursula Shrine panels (Bruges). His earliest known work is a triptych of The Madonna Enthroned with Saints and Donors (1468; Duke of Devonshire Coll., Chatsworth). Important works include The Adoration of the Magi Triptych and the Diptych of Martin van Nieuwenhoven (both Bruges); other pictures are in the Metropolitan Museum and the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York City; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the museums of San Diego, Houston, and Montreal.

See study by K. B. McFarlane (1972).

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