Memling C. - Flemish School


OF MEMLING'S EARLY youth very little is known, even the exact date of his birth being uncertain. His life, so far as we know it, was tranquil and uneventful and altogether unattended by that tragic poverty and want which has been the lot of numberless men of genius. His great industry, coupled with the regularity of his life, brought him-quite apart from his wife's dowry--considerable wealth and prosperity. It is therefore a little puzzling to discover that not long after his death Memling's name and work fell into such oblivion that only in comparatively recent times was his identity with his paintings re-established.

Between 1470 and 1480 Memling married the daughter of a wealthy burgher of Bruges and became thereby a well-to-do citizen. He purchased a large stone house with two smaller adjacent houses. As time went on his wealth increased; we find his name among those of the 247 richest citizens of Bruges who were called upon to contribute to the expenses of the war between the Emperor Maximilian and the King of France. But the turmoil of the fifteenth century in no degree disturbed Memling's serene outlook. His gentle, peaceful, kindly nature came to live, and lives today, in all that he did.

Memling died on August 11, 1494, at the probable age of 67. He was buried in Bruges.

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