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Hans Memling

"the best painter in Christendom"

1434-1494

Gothic Painter and member of the Bruges school

His Style Was Influenced by the following Painters  - Jan Van Eyck, and Rogier Van der Weyden

Education - He studied under Rogier Van der Weyden

Cause of Death:  Scrofula

Allegory of Chastity c. 1475

Artist Biography

Hans Memling was a native of Mommlingen near Mayence. He became a pupil and associate Rogier Van der Weyden,  the most influential painter of the Gothic era.  Memling difference from his Netherlandish predecessors is in that they are pervaded by a mild, lyric sentiment. His angels are feminine and serene, with flowing long hair and slender figures.  According to art historian ,Richard Muther, Ph.D., "What Botticelli was for Florence, Perugino for Umbria, Borgognone for Milan, and Bellini for Venice, Hans Memling was for the Netherlands."

Memories of the great plague were beginning to fade but the subjects and themes it had wrought were still very much in  vogue.  Memling's paintings are filled with frolicking demons and horrific depictions of hell with sinners getting their just desserts. His dazzling creations demonstrate a mastery of story telling and his unique style of painting was perfectly suited to biblical and legendary themes. 

Memling's painting technique and style, particularly in his depiction of women, holy or otherwise,  was mercifully untouched by the age of Savonarola. Times were changing and uncertainty and skepticism was giving way to a new religious awakening influenced by Thomas Kempis, an influential Catholic monk and writer.

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