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Portrait of a Young Man

Hans Memling (Netherlandish, Seligenstadt, active by 1465–died 1494 Bruges)

Date:
ca. 1472–75
Medium:
Oil on oak panel
Dimensions:
Overall 15 3/4 x 11 3/8 in. (40 x 29 cm); painted surface 15 1/8 x 10 3/4 in. (38.3 x 27.3 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.112
  • Description

    One of the most sought-after Netherlandish portrait painters of his time, Memling’s meticulous attention to detail is notable in the remarkable naturalism of the sitter’s physiognomy and the texture of his velvet, fur-trimmed tunic. The young man was likely one of the many Florentine visitors to, or residents of, Bruges, several of whom commissioned portraits from the artist. It appears that shortly after it was painted, the panel was sent to Florence, where it provided inspiration to Italian artists, who deeply admired Netherlandish painting. A Madonna and Child (Louvre, Paris) painted about 1476-77 and variously attributed to Verrocchio and Ghirlandaio, includes the same landscape vista and classicizing columns. The Italianate columns, which indicate Memling’s familiarity with Italian art and would have pleased his Florentine patron, illustrate that the relationship between Northern and Southern European artists was one of reciprocal influence.

  • Provenance

    Francis, 9th Earl of Wemyss (d. 1889), Gosford House, Longniddry, Scotland, by 1857; his son Francis Richard, 10th earl of Wemyss, until 1912; [R. Langton Douglas, London], 1912; [M. Knoedler and Co., London and New York], June 1912 (bought from Douglas); J. H. Dunn, London, December 1912 (bought from Knoedler); [M. Knoedler, London and New York], July 1914 (bought from Dunn). Acquired by Philip Lehman from Knoedler in December 1915.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
459054:2

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