Hans Memling (active by 1465–1494)
Oil on oak panel
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)
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.112)
Like so many of Memling's sitters, the young man represented here appears to have been a Florentine visitor to, or resident of, Bruges. The landscape behind him was closely followed in a Virgin and Child by the Florentine Domenico Ghirlandaio (Louvre, Paris) that cannot date much later than 1482, evidence that the picture was shipped to Italy shortly after it was painted.
The scale and prominence of the figure in relation to the distant view endow the sitter with a monumental dignity, while the stillness of nature suggests a state of inner repose in the young man.