MEMLING, Hans
(b. ca. 1440, Seligenstadt, d. 1494, Bruges)

Triptych

c. 1470
Oil on wood, 96,4 x 147 cm (central), 98 x 63,5 cm (each wing)
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Memling must have started work on his wide Adoration of the Magi triptych shortly after finishing the Portinari panels. This altarpiece too was probably commissioned by Abbot Jan Crabbe, as the old woman and young man from the earlier Crucifixion triptych once again appear together. Like the Last Jjudgment, this triptych relies on both Van der Weyden and Lochner, despite its highly personal, peculiar and ceremonial atmosphere. The conception of the work owes a great deal to Rogier's Columba altarpiece (Munich, Alte Pinakothek), which Memling must have seen during production in the master's workshop. Meanwhile, the highly centralized, symmetrical composition looks back to Stefan Lochner's even earlier Dombild (Cologne, Cathedral) .

The triptych depicts the Nativity (left), the Adoration of the Magi (central) and the Presentation of the Temple (right).