Musea Brugge manages the most important collection of paintings by Hans Memling in the world. In collaboration with the Flemish Research Centre for the arts in the Burgundian Netherlands, systematic material and technical research is being carried out on the Bruges panel paintings by Memling.
Hans Memling originated from Germany. He moved to Bruges in 1465 and worked there until his death in 1494. He was highly successful and was awarded assignments by the clergy, prominent citizens, and also foreign merchants who traded in Bruges. Memling was extremely adept at painting portraits and his work had a big influence on the later Italian renaissance portraits.
Musea Brugge and the Flemish Research Centre for the arts in the Burgundian Netherlands are conducting systematic material and technical research on the Bruges panel paintings by Memling. The results are providing new insights into the creation of the works and clarifying various aspects of this artist’s work practices. The collected data will be revealed gradually in the future so that researchers, colleagues from other museums, and collectors can refer to the most recent reference material.
The collection from Bruges includes the only two signed altarpieces from his hand, namely the 'Saint John Altarpiece', the large triptych before the altar of St John’s Hospital from 1479, and the 'Triptych of Jan Floreins' from 1479. Other works by Hans Memling in the collections are well documented and dated: the 'Moreel Triptych' from 1484, a 'portrait of a young woman' (also called 'Sibylla Sambetha') from 1480, and the 'Diptych of Maarten van Nieuwenhove' from 1487. These Bruges paintings are reference items for works elsewhere in the world.
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