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are almost copies of those in the “ Baptism.” The meagre and ugly Saviour lacks, animation and life, whilst all around wants relief and chiaro-scuro. In the general intonation red and black colours prevail. The whole is laid on with the thickness of medium already noticed ; but the vestments lack that sharpness of contrast which the other panels possess. This picture has been attributed to Lucas of Leyden. It has suffered much from cleaning.
Another attempt to graft upon the composition of Memling the colour of John Van Eyck, is a panel in the Munich Gallery, called the “ Offerings of the Magi;" ? only varying in subject from the picture just described in the substitution of the Magi for the shepherds. Here are no gigantic figures holding back the curtains ; but the relative positions of the Virgin and the Saviour are the same; the landscape is as full of houses and of gables, and the sheaves and cattle are also there ; the faults of colour and design are equally visible; and we can trace beneath the dark red prevailing tone the first grey preparation. A copy of this panel is in the Berlin Museum, under the name of an imitator of Mabuse's 2 first manner. The picture at Munich is ascribed to Van Eyck.
The “Crucifixion of Berlin,” given to Mabuse by Dr. Waagen, and to Ouwater by Hotho, is a production of this period. With similar coldness, we find more harmony and greater knowledge of aërial perspective. With the same character of design as the “ Baptism,” we find more softness and harmony of colour. The landscape
is crowded with little episodes, and the figure of Christ is a fac-simile of that in the “Baptism.” The subject is “Christ upon the Cross,” the Magdalen at its base, supported by St. John and two female saints, and two soldiers with an officer. In the background the procession wends its way to Calvary. The Saviour's face is of a soft and mild nature ; but is a cold imitation of nature. Its anatomy is an exaggeration of meagreness and length." Another “Adoration of the Magi,” painted about this time, is that of the Brussels Gallery,” under the name of John Wan Eyck. A later style even than that of Memling's is traceable in the panel; but the painter evidently sought to imitate both masters;–the composition is a counterpart of that of Munich. The Virgin, sitting in a corner of the picture, receives the offering of one of the Magi, whilst a second embraces the Saviour's hand. St. Joseph, behind the Virgin, sits in front of an arch, near which the oxen, ass, and sheaves, which we have noted as a feature in the pictures of this time, are placed. The suite of the Magi occupies the right hand of the picture, and is composed of horsemen as well as men on foot. The usual distant episodes crowd the landscape, which is a counterpart of that in the “Crucifixion” at Berlin. The Virgin and the kneeling king are the same as in the Munich picture. We thus discover in the Brussels' work component parts of divers panels seattered through the Galleries of Prussia and Bavaria; yet its execution is, in most respects, superior to that of all the others. The
figures, though straight and stiff, are natural. The colour, grey in parts, and red in others, challenges comparison at once with Memling and Van Eyck. The draperies are easy and flowing ; the painting has much body, and lacks vigour and chiaro-'scuro. This work, in fact, like most of those already noticed as by followers and imitators of Memling, is one of a transition period, when painters no longer contented themselves with founding their manner upon original bases, starting under one acknowledged master, but wandered from one style to another, losing all originality in their progress. The panels on which the latest Flemish writers have founded their opinion, as to Memling's stay in Belgium, are in the Antwerp Gallery, signed “C. H.,” and dated 1499." These panels form a dyptic, and represent the Virgin standing in a Gothic edifice, and holding the Infant Christ. Behind her are two angels with a book. Kneeling on the wing is an abbot in prayer. On the obverse is the Saviour standing on a globe, and near him a kneeling Benedictine. The stiff, exaggerated posture of the Saviour, the chough of hair upon his forehead, the hard and somewhat Germanized manner in which the garments are depicted, the dull unmeaning colour, which neither calls to mind the softness and the clearness of Memling, nor the firmness and severity of Van Eyck; all these suffice to show that the dyptic, so pertinaciously assigned to Memling, is the work of a painter so distant from him
1 No. 28, Antwerp Catalogue; four panels, each 0.31 m. high by 0.15 m. broad. Wood. Taken from the Abbey of the Dunes lez Bruges; having been sold by the last abbot, Mr. Nicolas de Roovere, to Mr. Wan Ertborn.
in style and handling, that we hesitate to class him even as a scholar. The touch has all the monotony of a copyist, and the accessories and detail the formal mechanism of a servile imitator. Such, in our judgment, is a just idea of a picture on which Michiels, and other Belgian writers, have assumed that Memling was alive in Flanders in 1499.
A picture in this country, which deserves the same remarks as these, is the pretended Memling of the late Mr. Rogers’ Collection, representing the Virgin and Child -a highly-finished and minute picture, apparently from the same hand as this Antwerp dyptic. It is delicately painted, with much body of well-blended light colour.?
Two other panels, the “St. Catherine" of the Belvedere Gallery, attributed to Hubert Van Eyck, and the “ Virgin and Child,” assigned to John Van Eyck, noticed in the works of those painters, strike us as possessing similar characteristics with those which mark the Madonnas of the Antwerp Gallery and the Rogers' Collection.
In the same Gallery, but of a different manner, are two small heads painted on one panel, of a male and female certainly of a powerful colour and much nature, firm in design, and profuse in vehicle, but exhibiting the characteristic features of a painter later in date than Van Eyck or Memling, and rather in the style of the former than in that of the latter.
1 Wood, about 6 in. by 4. Ascribed by some to Memling, by others to Van Eyck.
2 Vide for the St. Catherine, p. 82; for the Virgin and Child, p. 106.
3 Wood, 74 in. high by 5} in. broad.
In the Hôtel de Ville, at Dijon, is the “Birth of the Saviour.” 1 Mary, in a white vestment, kneels with St. Joseph before the Infant, who lies on the ground. This panel, much damaged, is not by Memling, but by some other artist of the time. The colour of the flesh-tints is grey and dark in shadow, and is deficient in chiaro-’scuro. The attitude and features of the figures are unnatural, and the type of the Infant's face repulsive. The forms are also faulty,—the flesh-tints of a dark-red tinge, similar to that which marks some pictures of the Westphalian school.
At Stow Park, amongst the pictures of the Hon. Mr. Labouchere, is one ascribed to Van Eyck, which represents a series of revelations or scenes illustrative of a dream indulged in by a figure on the right hand foreground, which kneels with its head on a desk asleep. This figure is dressed in full pontificals, and reposes under the protection of a guardian saint, who carries a crozier and mitre. The types, character, attitude and drapery of the figures in this panel are proper to the school of Van der Weyden, and not to that of Van Eyck. Its colour, so far from rivalling or approaching that of the chief of the Flemish school, is in that antique manner which we have more than once noticed in the early artists of Belgium, and from which Van der Weyden did not entirely emancipate himself. The execution of this piece is very unequal, and similar to numerous works by scholars and imitators of Van der Weyden, whose pictures are classified in various Galleries under the names of
i No. 239, Dijon Cat. O m. 87 c. by 0 m. 70 c., French measure. Wood.