Monday, November 14, 2011

Memling, Hans

The Resurrection, with the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian and the Ascension (Triptych of the Resurrection)
c. 1490
oil on panel
central panel:61.5 x 44.5 cm, side panel:61.5 x 18.5 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Hans Memling, whose name is sometimes spelled Memlinc (c. 1435 – 1494) was a German-born Early Netherlandish painter. Memling was a master of portraiture. He painted with glowing colors and fine craftsmanship and unlike most artists, his style varied little throughout his career. The faces he painted with careful detail glow with life. The character of each is subtly suggested. In addition to the portraits Memling painted for the notables of Brugge, he also received commissions from foreign visitors such as Tommaso Portinari of the Florentine Medici.
Memling died in Brugge on Aug. 11, 1494.

The three panels in this painting show the Resurrection (central), the martyrdom of St Sebastian (left) and the Ascension (right). The Risen Christ steps from the tomb while the soldiers sleep on, unaware of what has happened  (central). St Sebastian has been condemned to death by the emperor Diocletian because of his faith in Christ (left).
 Mary, mother of Jesus and the disciples watching as the Risen Jesus ascends into the sky, leaving them forever (right).