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

Portrait of a Young Man at Prayer

c. 1487
Oil on oak panel, 16 x 12 cm
Upton House, Banbury

This little painting is no larger than a postcard and, unlike most of Memling's portraits, has a rounded top. This shape only became customary by the end of the fifteenth and above all in the sixteenth century. It probably formed a diptych with a Virgin on the left-hand side. The hypothesis linking this work with the Man of Sorrows in Esztergom is difficult to bear out because of the difference in proportions. There is some similarity in type and treatment with the 1487 portrait of Benedetto Portinari. This work is unlikely to have been painted earlier, at any rate - a fact suggested also by the curved shape.

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