Painter/Artist: Hans Memling

Netherlandish School. Said to have been a pupil of Roger van der Weyden.


THE VIRGIN AND CHILD AND ST. GEORGE In the centre the Virgin is seated in a walled garden, her head turned slightly to the right, reading a book which she holds in her left hand. Her right clasps the Child, who sits in her lap looking to the left, His left hand on the book. On the left is a kneeling angel playing a lute; on the right, standing, three-quarters left, the dragon at his feet. In front of him kneels the donor. Behind the Virgin is a canopy, beyond which on either side are a landscape and the sea.

Purchased at Cologne at Air. Weyer’s sale in 1862.


THE VIRGIN AND CHILD WITH THE FLOREINS FAMILY In the centre is the Virgin, facing us, seated on a marble throne, behind which is hung a brocaded cloth of honour. The Child is sitting on her right knee with His left hand on an open book, which she holds with hers. On the right and left of the throne are two symmetrical groups of figures facing slightly towards it; on the right (our left) St. James stands behind the kneeling figure of the donor, as though presenting him to the Holy Child, and behind them are seven other kneeling figures. On the opposite side St. Dominic presents the wife of the donor, behind whom twelve women are kneeling.

Painted before 1489.

BRUGES, HOSPITAL OF ST. JOHN TRIPTYCH. Centre In the centre panel the Virgin seated on a throne in an open gallery. Two angels hover above holding a crown over her head. To the right is St. Catherine, to whom the Child, leaning forward on His mother’s knee, gives the mystic ring. Behind her an angel playing an organ, and St. John the Baptist standing. To the left of the Virgin is an angel holding a book, and St. John the Evangelist. In the foreground St. Barbar is seated, reading. The capitals of the columns behind the throne are sculptured with scenes in the history of the two St. Johns, and others are painted in the landscape background.

On the right wing is the decollation of the Baptist, and on the left St. John the Evangelist in the Isle of Patmos. On the outside of these wings two friars and two nuns of the hospital praying in a cloister, with their patron saints.

Painted in 1479.

THE SHRINE OF ST. URSULA A reliquary in the form of a miniature Gothic edifice.

At one end the Virgin standing with the Child in her arms, and a kneeling sister on either side of her; at the other St. Ursula, standing, sheltering six of her companions under her cloak.

At the sides are (I) the arrival at Cologne, in the background an angel announcing to St. Ursula her martyrdom; (2) the arrival at Basle; (3) the arrival at Rome, the Pope giving his blessing; (4) the embarkation at Basle; (5) the arrival at Cologne; (6) the martyrdom, the archer bending his bow to a portrait of the famous Dechem, brother of the Sultan Bajazet, who was taken prisoner at Rhodes in 1482.

The lid is painted with six medallions, one of which represents St. Ursula in heaven surrounded by her companions, another the Virgin, and the rest angels, musicians.

Painted in 1489.

THE ADORATION OF THE KINGS A small triptych painted in 1478 for John and James Floreins, whose portraits are introduced into the picture on the extreme right-John reading a book of Hours, and James behind him. On the right wing (0.46 x 0.25) is the Virgin adoring the Child, and on the left the presentation in the Temple; and on the outside of the wings the Baptist and St. Veronica. The panels are still in their original frame.

THE NIEWENHOVEN DIPTYCH On the right-hand panel is the Virgin, full face, seated, holding the Child with her right hand as He sits on a cushion on a table. He stretches out His hand for an apple, which she offers Him. On the lefthand panel is the donor, Martin Niewenhoven, kneeling before a table on which is a book of Hours.

Painted in 1487. The panels are in their original frame.


THE MOREEL ALTAR-PIECE A triptych, dated 1484, painted for William Moreel. In the centre St. Christopher, leaning on a tree trunk for a staff, crosses the river with the Child on his shoulders. On the right is St. Maur holding a cross and an open book, and on the left St. Giles with a dog. In the background a hermit holding up a lantern is seen in a cave in some rocks on the bank of the river. On the right wing is the donor, Moreel, kneeling with his five sons and his patron saint, William de Maleval. On the left wing his wife, Barbara de Blaenderbezch, and her eleven daughters, and her patron saint, Barbara. The figures in grisaille on the outside of the wings-the Baptist and St. George-were probably added in 1504.


THE MADONNA AND CHILD AND ANGELS The Virgin is seated, facing us, on a throne set under a circular arch, holding the Child in both hands. He stretches His hand to take an apple which an angel kneeling on the left offers to Him, while holding her violin and bow in her right. On the right is another angel playing the harp, and watching the others. The Virgin is in a dark red mantle, and a red canopy is over her head with festoons upheld by tiny naked children. Behind her is a brocaded cloth of honour, on either side of which is seen a landscape with buildings. At her feet is an Oriental carpet.

“None of the Italian Schools had at this date produced an altar-piece so luminous, so tender, and so beautiful.”

Weale attributes the picture to Louis Boels.


THE SEVEN JOYS OF THE VIRGIN This remarkable picture represents the principal events in the life of Christ and the Virgin, not in separate compartments, but as one great whole, united in a landscape with an endless number of subordinate events. The centre foreground is occupied by the adoration of the Magi, to the left of which is the Nativity, and to the right the Resurrection. In the centre middle distance is Jerusalem, to the left the angel appearing to the shepherds, to the right a company of horsemen, and to the extreme right a mass of buildings.

Painted in 1479 for Peter Bultine, a currier, for the chapel of his guild.