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Hans Memling


Aliases: Jan "van" Jan van Memmelynghe /Memmelynghe, Jan van Memnelinghe, Hans Memlinc, Jean Memlinc, Jean Memling, Johannes Memmelinc

Painter, Flower painter

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(born c. 1435-1440 Seligenstadt, Germany; died 11 August 1494 Bruges, Belgium) Flemish painter. Influenced by the work of Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Memling was one of the leading Flemish painters of the 15th century. Little is known about his life, but he was likely an apprentice to Rogier van der Weyden in Brussels. Around 1465 Memling moved to Bruges, where he painted for the Flemish upper class and the Italian merchants who lived in the area. His work mainly consisted of religious paintings commissioned for private devotion; often with the patron shown praying towards the Virgin and Child. Memling is well known for his portraiture as well, catering to the tastes of his Italian patrons in which he painted increasingly secular portraits with humanist leanings that emphasized the wealth of the patron rather than his piety. The backgrounds of his portraits transformed through his career; from monochrome interior backdrops to landscapes where the subject is seated in nature. While Memling is not the first artist to make this transition, he is well known for his naturalist style and painting bust length compositions, not common at the time. An established artist by his thirties, Memling was able to garner respect not only from within Flanders but also in Renaissance Italy.

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Northern Renaissance (103)