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Van Eyck and Memling, and are really executed by men of a very second-rate talent.
A portrait of a monk in the Antwerp Gallery is not by him, though it bears his name, and partakes of his manner. So likewise, and with no better reason, are the portraits of Philip the Good and Philippe de Croi in the same place."
A portable altar-piece from the Gallery of the King of Holland, supposed to have belonged to Charles the Fifth, is a mixed copy of Van der Weyden and Memling by one of their followers—the centre representing the “ Adoration of the Magi;" the right wing, female saints; the left, male saints, all praying. The closed tryptic is adorned with chiaro-'scuro figures of St. Anthony and St. Christopher.”
A series of pictures in the Palace of the Prince at Madrid 3 may be noticed here. It consists of fifteen small panels representing scenes from the Passion of our Saviour; one of which is an exact copy of a supplementary episode in Memling's picture of “St. John the Baptist” in the Louvre, representing the Baptism of Christ, and resembles also a composition of the same subject on the outer wing of Memling's “Sposalizio,” in the Hospital at Bruges. Another of these panels contains figures like those upon the shrine of Memling ; such, for instance, as the soldiers, clad in polished armour, reflecting surrounding objects. In fact, these pictures, small as they are in size, and minute in finish, imitate, in many
I No. 26, Ant. Cat. 0.39 m. high by 0.23 broad. Wood. And No. 27, Ant. Cat. 0.49 m. high by 0.31. broad. Wood.
2 Purchased for 6,450 fl. Wood, 68 in. high by 43 broad. * See Quevedo, Hist. del Escorial, p. 354. Ascribed to Alb. Dürer. points of costume and detail, the works of Memling; but the colour is not that of Hans. It is thickly and evenly laid on, high in tone, and hard and glassy to the touch. The character of certain heads exhibits the study of John Wan Eyck, whose firmness of hand is almost attained by this successful artist. But this appears in parts only, whilst in others both colour and design are weak and flaccid, Here and there a flag floats amongst the figures, emblazoned with the lion and the tower, which are the royal cognisance of Castile. Inscriptions are also visible here and there, but so defaced as to be illegible. The border of the garment of the Magdalen, in one of the fifteen panels, is covered with the letter H., and that of the Magdalen, in another panel, is likewise covered with the letter M. But though these letters are the initials of Memling's name, the style and manner of the pictures are not properly his. They seem, indeed, to belong more properly to a painter of the sixteenth century, who studied not merely Memling, but Wan Eyck. The names of Juan Flamenco and Jan de Flandes suggest themselves at once in connexion with these panels; but as nothing certain is known respecting them, the matter must remain in doubt. Still, if conjecture can be rested on date, it may not be unlikely that these are the productions of Jan de Flandes, who painted eleven pictures, in 1509, for the cathedral of Palencia. As regards other imitators of Memling and Van Eyck, some painters of that time, like Mabuse, diverged into such different styles—being at one time Flemish and minute, at the next, Italian, and merely imitative—that we scarcely believe the evidence which proves that the artist is the same in both ; but when Mabuse painted in the first of these manners, he followed the style of Memling's imitators, which we think far preferable to that in which he imitated Michael Angelo. Another painter, superior to Mabuse—Kalkar—is an instance of similar imitation. His pictures in the Church of Kalkar, his native town, show how skilfully he sought the early Flemish manner. But when he was in Italy, he imitated Titian and Giorgione with such effect, that, Wasari tells us, his pictures passed for the originals of those masters. In truth, the Flemings possessed, more than any others, the art of imitation; and we see them, after Memling, acting on an uniform principle, and merely varying in slight particulars of manner. Who these imitators were it is now impossible to say. In the Breviary of Cardinal Grimani, now at Venice, several hundred miniatures are preserved, which the Anonimo di Morelli ascribes to Memling, Lievin of Antwerp, and Gerard of Ghent. The miniatures in this manuscript, which approach nearest to the manner of Memling, in the style peculiar to his followers, are numerous; but the most remarkable one, representing the “Offerings of the Magi,” is a reduced fac-simile of the Munich “Adoration.” Passavant describes another copy of this Munich “Adoration,” in the Ader's Gallery, now dispersed, and notes its likeness to the miniature. The Ader's panel was signed with the initials “A. W.,” “which are not those of Lievin de Witte, as some assert. At Xanten on the Rhine is a picture, in the Flemish manner,
representing the temptation of St. Anthony, and marked on the bonnet of one of the figures with the initials “ A. W.;" but the style, though Flemish, is not that of the Munich “ Adoration.” Thus, the question as to who are these imitators of Memling, remains involved in darkness. It is true that Lievin de Witte or d'Anversa—for, doubtless, they are one person-must have painted at this time. Van Mander describes him as a man of talent in painting, but especially of cleverness in architecture. There is, doubtless, great architectural proficiency in the paintings of these imitators, and Lievin may be the author of some of the panels which we have mentioned ; but the question, it need scarce be repeated, must be considered too obscure to be solved at present.
THE SCHOOL OF LOUVAIN.
The fifteenth century had well-nigh closed when the city of Louvain began to possess artistic annals ; but the School which formed itself there did not realize the excellence of that of Bruges or Brussels. The rivalry which showed itself so strongly at that time between the cities of the Netherlands was keenly manifested, in its later years, between the towns of Brussels and Louvain. The rapid progress towards completion made in the town-hall of the former city raised a spirit of emulation in the municipality of Louvain, and caused it to put forth its energies in erecting a civic edifice worthy of competing by its beauty with a more imposing and larger building. Matheus de Layens, master-architect of the town, gave in plans and sections, which were approved by Pauwels, the state architect of Philip of Burgundy; and, in 1438, the burgomaster and councillors solemnly laid the first foundation of the new town-hall. It was not completed till 1460, when the corporation determined to rival Brussels further by appointing an official painter. They chose Dierick Stuerbout, a pupil of Van der Weyden.
Very little importance attaches to the cotemporaries or predecessors of Stuerbout at Louvain. The records for