Hans Memling

Hans Memling (* 1433-1440 in Blessed City; † August 11, 1494 in Bruges, also Hans Memling, John Memmelinc or Memlinc wrong also Hemling ) was a German painter of the Dutch school.


His mother was probably Lucia forehead, who was married to his first marriage with a wealthy citizens Blessed Little City. His father was Hamann Momilingen. The father or both parents died in 1450 or 1451, probably as a result of a former plague. Little is known about the milieu of the parents, also is Memling's exact birth date is not known, that his earlier life lies largely in the dark. He is first mentioned in 1465 with the acquisition of citizenship documented in Bruges. In 1466 he lived there a large stone house in the Sint- Jorisstraat for rent, which he probably acquired in 1480. Later, two adjoining houses are called with a transept that possibly inhabited Memling already from the beginning of his time in Bruges. In that section of Bruges at that time lived primarily a painter and miniaturist, including the book illustrator Willem Vrelant. Memling would have been obligated to purchase the Free World, but could be registered with the Bruges guild for unknown reasons and was later employed in his workshop also assistants and apprentices. 1480 as an apprentice Hannekin Verhannemann called the not came into existence later. Four years later, a Passchier vander Mesch is called as an apprentice, who remained as insignificant. For the same time Michel Sittow apprenticeship in Bruges is busy, comes as another apprentice Memling to be considered because of stylistic similarities. 1487 Memling's wife died fir, who bore him three children: Hannekin, Neelkin and Chaykin. The children were a year after Memling's death in 1494 still a minor (under 25 years old ) and stayed until 1509 in the possession of the property in the Sint- Jorisstraat.

The memory Memling was first preserved in his birthplace Blessed city, where still masses were held for him in the early 16th century. Then he fell into oblivion for the time being. His main work mainly in painting Johannis Hospital at Bruges have received, so that with its rediscovery first a sentimental legend of the painter sponn, is said to have created the paintings in the Johannis Hospital after a miraculous recovery. This legend had a long time and has also been implemented figuratively later by other painters. At times, you have misinterpreted his name as Hemeling before the recent research has disproved the legend Hospital and the wrong name.


From his works show that he has formed under or by Rogier van der Weyden. However, he softened the harshness and gave his figures less elongated shapes. Despite some angularities and Magerkeiten they show graceful movement, and her delicate soul express their deep and true feeling captivate the viewer with great power. The naive kindness of his storytelling, his perfect mastery of color and modeling, his tender care in the treatment stand in his time there only, which is why it particularly preferred the Italians. In addition to the creation of religious art located Memling also stands out as an important innovator of secular portraiture. More than one third of its received extensive work consists of portraits of this genus. The art historian Dirk de Vos concluded from the comparison of groups of works by contemporary artists that Memling - has created the basis for the Renaissance portrait in the Netherlands - having regard to the art of Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden.


  • In the Louvre in Paris one of his most famous painting hangs: The painting of an old lady with hood
  • The Last Judgement, 1467-1471, National Museum (Danzig)

The main works of the artist are in the Johannis Hospital ( Hôpital Saint -Jean or Sint- Janshospitaal ) to Bruges:

  • The reliquary of St.. Ursula with six scenes from the legend of the 11,000 Virgins ( 1489 )
  • Marriage of St. Catherine ( wing altarpiece, 1479 )
  • Adoration of the Magi ( also with wings, 1479 )
  • Portrait of, as Sibylla Persica shown Moreel Maria (1480 )
  • Madonna with the donor Martin van Nieuwe Hoven ( 1487 )
  • Saints Christopher, Maurus, Giles, on the wings of the founders Mayor Moreel in the middle with his family: In Groeningemuseum in Bruges is a triptych.
  • In the Sabauda Gallery in Turin is a chart (The Seven Sorrows of Mary ) presents in various small groups, the Passion of Christ
  • In the Alte Pinakothek in Munich a similar work with the seven joys of Mary.
  • The Musée des Beaux -Arts of Strasbourg is the double-sided painted polyptych " Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation"
  • Originally located in Greve Raden Chapel of Lübeck Cathedral wing of Memling altarpiece of 1491, which in the middle shows the crucifixion of Christ is now in Lübeck's St. Anne's convent.

The five - leafed Memling altar in Lübeck

  • Bathsheba bathing ( 1485 ), 191.5 x 84.5 cm, National Gallery, Stuttgart.