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manner of using the colour, which is so thin in the Antwerp portrait, that the original design may be traced beneath it. There is much sentiment and intelligence in this portrait, and considerable nature and truth in its presentment. It was bought at the sale of Mr. Denon in Paris, and is not unlike one of the same character in the Gallery of the Uffizi as regards execution, being somewhat flat in tint, as Memling's pictures are at times.
The rarity of Memling's pieces in England renders their possessors doubly fortunate. Amongst those which deserve most attention are the altar-piece at Chiswick, and the votive panels of the late Mr. Rogers' Gallery. Other examples are to be met with at Kensington Palace ; but they are of minor interest, as compared with the great efforts of the master. It is, therefore, with pleasure that we notice a valuable addition to the list of pictures by Memling in this country. Mr. Herz, of Argyll Place, may be justly proud of being able to show a characteristic piece of small dimensions, it is true, but painted in Memling's happiest manner. The subject, doubtless, loses some of its completeness from the fact, that the scene represented is part of a tryptic of which a large portion is absent ; but even with that disadvantage it produces the most pleasing effect. A kneeling figure, probably that of the donor, whose arms are emblazoned at the base of the pictures,—is presented and protected by St. John the Baptist standing behind him in a richly-coloured meadow; the lamb, in front, symbolizing the mission of the Saint. The donor's hands are joined in prayer, his head bare,
1 Wood, 10 inches by 6.
and features composed; his dress, a purple brown mantle, lined with fur. St. John appears in the never-failing skin which leaves his legs bare, and a violet tunic tied in a knot to his shoulder. His left hand rests on the kneeling figure, whilst his right points to the lamb. The meadow in which this principal group stands is covered with vegetation of the most varied kind; in the midst of which the characteristic leaves of the dandelion and daisy are easily distinguished. The breadth of brush, and boldness of touch, remarkable in this foreground, contrast with the thin and transparent tones of the draperies and flesh-tints. The masterly execution of the whole induces us to believe that the picture was produced in the painter's best time— the period in which the panels of the Louvre were com. pleted. A broad screen of trees, in front of which runs a small stream, separates the foreground from the usual episodic scenes of the middle and extreme distance. In the depths of the grove are a hare and a couple of deer. At the foot of a rock, surrounded by trees of thin foliage, St. George is killing the dragon, whilst a female figure looks on from a sheltered spot. In the distance, a lake surrounds an island, on which sits St. John the Evangelist contemplating the vision. In the heavens, the Virgin, holding the Infant, is comforted by an angel, a dragon with many heads lying at her feet. We have noticed the thin colour which marks the principal figures; this feature characterising the flesh-tints as well as the draperies. This thinness of colour is remarkable, also, in the execution of the episodes. The head of the Baptist is noble and austere, a quality in which Memling shows his superiority over his master, Van der Weyden. The
figure of St. George on horseback presents all the characteristics of a perfect study of nature—the leg being well down in the stirrup, and the action energetic. The episode is, in truth, so full of life that it has been frequently copied. We find it in a miniature in possession of Mr. Farrer, in London, and it may, doubtless, be discovered elsewhere. With regard to the preservation of the panel, it may be remarked that the surface has been laid bare, more especially in the background and sky, and in the head and hands of the kneeling patron ; but there is no trace of over-painting, so detrimental to the value of pictures of this school in general. As for the meadow, with its flowery vegetation, it remains perfect and intact.
Space fails us to mention the “Descent from the Cross,” “St. Christopher and St. James of Compostella,” by Memling, now in possession of the Rev. J. M. Heath, of Enfield.
In our notice of the painter (Dierick Stuerbout), we had occasion to remark the paucity of information respecting his birth and parentage. Recent research has added some documentary evidence upon these points, which is not without interest. Dierick Stuerbout, the painter of the “ Legend of King Otho," was the son of Thierry Bout or Stuerbout, “a great landscape painter.” He was born in 1391, and lived to the age of eighty-seven. Dierick tells his own age in a report of an inquiry made on the 9th of December, 1467. At that time he was seventy-six years old.1
We dwelt on Dierick’s attainments in landscape
1 Wauters (A.), “Revue Universelle des Arts,” 1856, p. 252.
painting. This acquirement Dierick, doubtless, owes to the study of his father, " the great landscape painter.” We had ventured to assign to Dierick, on the ground of similarity of style, the “Last Supper” of the Church of St. Pierre, at Louvain, hitherto attributed to Memling, or Justus of Ghent. The following document, extracted from Molanus, the author of a manuscript lately discovered in the records of Louvain, appears to confirm our views in this respect :-
“ Theodorici filii opus sunt in ecclesiâ D. Petri duo altaria venerabilis sacramenti quæ multum ex arte commendantur."?
According to Molanus, Dierick bad a brother named Hubert, or Albert, who practised art, and was appointed painter of the town at Louvain, in 1454. He held that office until 1481. Three sons of Hubert-namely, Hubert, Gilles, and Frissen, or Frederic-followed the profession of their father and uncle.
At his country-house of Belvedere, Erith, Kent, Sir Culling Eardley possesses a picture that ranks amongst the interesting works of the imitators of Van Eyck and Memling. The subject represents the root of Jesse, treated much in the style of all genealogies, by the symbolic representation of a tree in an arabesque style, whose
Molanus (G.), the author of the manuscript lately discovered at Louvain, is mentioned by Aubertus Miræus as an erudite and indefatigable author. He died at Louvain in 1585, and was buried in St. Pierre.—Mircus, Elogia Belgica, 4'. Antwerp, 1609, p. 34.
2 Wauters, ut sup., p. 253.
3 Van Even, “Les Artistes de l'Hôtel de Ville de Louvain," p. 74. Schayes, apud Wauters, ut sup., p. 252.
boughs, ingeniously interlaced and balanced, expand into many-coloured roses, out of which rise numerous semifigures of saints. This tree grows in the centre of the picture from behind a stone chair, on which Jesse is seated, reading a book, and resting his right hand on the figure of the Virgin, recumbent on a richlycoloured carpet. The Infant Saviour lies in her two hands on a white cloth, holding a red rosary. Two patrons kneel in prayer on each side of the group, both dressed in black, with joined hands; the one on the right having dark hair and aquiline features, the other, fair hair and light complexion. The latter is supported by a standing figure of a high priest in front, mitred, and clothed in a dark dress, turned with ermine, covering an embroidered vest, and white drapery;-a white wand in the right hand seems a symbol of authority. The other figure is supported by David, also in a long mantle of a light shot green colour, playing the harp. The remainder of the dress is of many colours, and embroidered, and the legs are encased in yellow boots. It may be said, indeed, of this as of all the personages depicted, that their dresses are more than usually variegated, and that the painter was partial to the changing hues of shot textures. Amongst the saints, whose bodies issue invarious attitudes from the roses, it is possible to recognise a few by their symbols; but the greater part are difficult to name, as time has obliterated the inscriptions on the gold ground by which each one was distinguished. Some of these figures point downwards towards the Virgin we have
* Traces of one of these inscriptions are visible near the saint in
one of the roses on the left of the chair of St. Anne. R