Book Series Studies in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art History, vol. 53

Hans Memling, Master Painter in Fifteenth-Century Bruges

Barbara Lane

  • Pages: 386 p.
  • Size:220 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:302 b/w, 32 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2009

  • ISBN: 978-1-905375-19-6
  • Hardback
  • Available


"Her beautifully designed book is a thorough, well-conceived study that will not only satisfy the specialist but also those looking for a useful introduction to the artist's work and the problems attached to the study of Early Netherlandish painting."
(Till-Holger Borchert, in: The Burlington Magazine, CLII, February 2010, p. 103)

"Lane's excellently illustrated book makes a substantial contribution to the ongoing reappraisal of this remarkable painter." (P. Hardwick in Sixteenth Century Journal, XLII/4, Winter 2011, p. 1133-1135)

"Lane offers a fine introduction to the life and work of Hans Memling. Her discussion of his patronage, the function of his panels, and the painter's relationship to Italy are well presented." (H. Luttikhuizen, in: Historians of Netherlandish Art,, 2012)


Hans Memling was the leading painter in Bruges during the last quarter of the fifteenth century, receiving commissions from patrons in England, Germany and Italy as well as Flanders itself. For the Romantics of the nineteenth century, he ranked even above Jan van Eyck as the greatest of the Flemish primitives. By the middle of the twentieth century, however, his exalted reputation had declined sharply under the shadow of his presumed teacher, Rogier van der Weyden. In 1953, Panofsky labelled Memling a "major minor master", leading subsequent writers to consider him unworthy of serious study. It was only in 1994, the five-hundredth anniversary of his death, that the major exhibition on Memling in Bruges launched a veritable flood of publications on his life and work, finally granting him the recognition he deserves.

This book contributes to the ongoing reappraisal of Memling by addressing some of the tantalizing problems that remain unresolved despite much recent study of his work. Beginning with the question of his training, the text follows him on his Wanderjahre from his native Germany to Bruges, where he became a citizen in 1465. It then considers his activities as a master painter in Bruges, concentrating on the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, including the work of such major artists as Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael.


Barbara G. Lane