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

Portrait of a Young Man before a Landscape

c. 1480
Oil on oak panel, 26 x 20 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

The portrait of this young man is a textbook example of the genre as developed by Memling. He is shown in three-quarter pose, to just beneath his shoulders. Pictured before a park-like landscape, his right hand resting on the edge of the painting in the left corner, his gaze is fixed on the horizon. The modelling of his features is evened out by the diffuse frontal lighting. His costume is sober and dark: the coat appears to be black but might actually be darkened purple-brown. The black collar that sticks out at the top is part of his waistcoat. The hairstyle would appear Italian, although no concrete evidence can be provided to support this.

Originally purchased as an Antonello da Messina, the painting has been definitively ascribed to Memling since 1896.




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