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Hans Memling

active 1465; died 1494

Hans Memling is recorded as a citizen in Bruges in 1465 and was the leading artist there for the rest of his life. His work is strongly influenced by Rogier van der Weyden. Memling became especially popular in the 19th century and his art is well represented in the National Gallery.

Memling was born in Germany, at Seligenstadt near Aschaffenburg, and probably spent his early life in Mainz. By 1465 he had moved to Bruges, where he was evidently successful. By 1480 he had bought himself a large stone house, was taking on pupils, and had joined a confraternity.

Early in his career Memling made an altarpiece for the Florentine businessman Angelo Tani. En route to Italy in 1473 this was seized by pirates and is today in Danzig. Other paintings of his appear to have been made for Italian patrons.