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

Christ Giving His Blessing

1481
Oil on oak panel, 34,8 x 26,2 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

This painting is a reprise with slight variations of the Pasadena Christ, which dates from 1478. The dark background of this painting will also have originally been bluish-green in colour and the robe is not dark brown but red. Although produced later, this version is typologically closest to Rogier van der Weyden's prototype on the triptych of Jean de Braque (Paris, Louvre). The figure is thinner and more ascetic than the one in Pasadena. The face has the sunken cheeks of the Braque type, and the hand raised in blessing has more elongated fingers. It is positioned so that only the tip of the forefinger extends above the middle finger. The appearance of the painting is also related to the Vera Effigies of Dieric Bouts (Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen).

The work was not reported until 1937 and the original date 1481 on the frame has been overlooked until now. It is painted in trompe-l'oeil gilded numbers. The date 1480 on the Portrait of a Young Woman (Memlingmuseum, Bruges] and that on the Reins triptych are executed in precisely the same way.




© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.