Portinari Portraits of Memling

Portinari Portraits of Memling
Portinari Portraits of Memling
Anonim

In addition to the artistic and pictorial qualities of these two effigies, these two oil-painted panels are also a magnificent portrait of the moment in which they were painted. It was around the year 1470 and they were made by Hans Memling, one of the most demanded and relevant artists in the city of Bruges, in the currentBelgium, then one of the commercial and economic epicenters of Northern Europe. So much so that the bank of the Florentine family of the Medicis. was established there.

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Maria Portinari de Memling

They had put Tommaso di Folco Portinari in charge of their businesses, who at one point married Maria Maddalena Baroncelli, being a union that materialized the interests of both families, despite the fact that there was a considerable age difference between them, since Tommaso would have been 41 years old at the time, while his wife Maddalena was only a 14-year-old girl. On the occasion of that marriage, they commissioned this painting from the sought-after painter Memling. Although, this was not going to be the only work that the Portinari were going to pay for and bequeath, since even his last name gives name to one of the most famous triptychs of the painter Van der Goes.

The truth is that the two panels of the portraits would also form part of a triptych that would lack a religious scene in the center, which would represent a Virgin and Child. One piecethat was lost centuries ago. For that reason, they are currently displayed in the Metropolitan Museum in New York as the two magnificent portraits that they are.

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Tommaso di Folco Portinari by Memling

We see the couple dressed in Flemish fashion, despite their Italian origin. And it is that Tommaso was perfectly settled in the city of Bruges. In fact, he had a close friendship with the rulerCharles the Bold. So much so that he lent him large sums of money, despite the fact that they were very risky stock transactions. For this reason he ended up losing the confidence ofLorenzo de' Medicishimself for such a position and over the years he was forced to return toFlorence.

However, he was a great lover of Flemish art and an important patron of several artists, including Memling himself, who brings together in himself many of the characteristics of painting from this area of ​​Europe, being a consummate oil painting specialist capable of offering bright and vivid colors in works such as The Adoration of the Magi or dwelling on the most exquisite details, almost his own of the miniature in works such as El Florero. Whereas in this double portrait there is an element of enormous interest. It's about that fictitious frame that the artist painted, creating a kind of painting within a painting.

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