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

Angel Musicians (left panel)

1480s
Oil on wood, 165 x 230 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

The picture shows one of the fragments of a religious polyptych by Memling, Christ Surrounded by Musician Angels. The carefully ordered and simple composition depicts Christ as Sovereign of the World, giving His blessing, with three singing angels on either side. The two other panels contain five angels playing musical instruments: psaltery, tromba marina, lute, trumpet and oboe (left-hand panel), bassoon, trumpet, portative organ, harp and viol (right-hand panel). Heaven is suggested by the glowing clouds which run from the left across to the right-hand panel. These panels are fragments of a polyptych, now largely lost, which once stood on the high altar of the Benedictine church of Santa Maria la Real in Nájera, Spain.




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