Hans Memling was the leading painter in Bruges during the last quarter of the fifteenth century, receiving commissions from patrons in England, Gernmany and Italy as well as Flanders itself. For the Romantics of the nineteenth century, he ranked even above Jan van Eyck as the greatest of the Flemish primitives. By the middle of the twentieth century, however, his exalted reputation had declined sharply under the shadow of his presumed teacher, Rogier van der Weyden. In 1953, Panofsky labelled Memling a "major minor master", leading subsequent writers to consider him unworthy of serious study. It was only in 1994, the five-hundreth anniversary of his death, that the major exhibition on Memling in Bruges launched a veritable flood of publications on his life and work, finally granting him the recognition he deserves. This book contributes to the ongoing reappraisal of Memling by addressing some of the tantalizing problems that remain unresolved despite much recent study of his work. Beginning with the question of his training, the text follows him on his Wanderjahre from his native Germany to Bruges, where he became a citizen in 1465. It then considers his activities as a master painter in Bruges, concentrating on the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, including the work of such major artists as Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael.
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