Room 63

The Netherlands in Europe 1450-1500

Dirk Bouts in Louvain and Hans Memling in Bruges were painters with an international clientele. Bouts’s pictures are notable for the expressive poses of their protagonists while Memling’s world is more serene. Both artists however are remarkable for their acute and influential observation of landscape and light effects. Religious works by Bouts were sometimes sent to Italy painted on canvas, which was more portable than the customary wood panel. Memling too had Italian buyers and his paintings were also bought by at least one British client.

Such was the popularity of their works that Netherlandish artists found employment away from home, at the court of Urbino in Italy and for Queen Isabella of Spain. Moreover, artists all over Europe were trained in the Netherlandish use of oil paint. In this room, the Master of Saint Giles and Simon Marmion, who both worked in France, and the Spaniard, Bartolomé Bermejo, represent such painters.