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Man Portrait - Hans Memling. Wood
Before you is one of the most significant Memling's portrait work. The artist gives it as close as possible, the mass of cool curly dark hair almost touches the edges of the picture; It seems that the head of the portrait is closely moved to an imaginary plane that separates the world of the picture from the world of the viewer. The artist (and the viewer after him) carefully examines the large features of a broad face from a close distance, noting the characteristic shape of the lips, the usual folds around the mouth and nose, a firm, fixed look.
Like many of the best Dutch portraits of the era, the picture conveys physical existence with amazing persuasion: the depicted person “exists”, he is “present” here, and his image could least be called the “shadow of life”, as art was often called in antiquity. The folded fingers indicate that once the picture served as a shutter of the diptych: the second shutter was occupied by some kind of religious scene, and the person in the portrait seemed to be praying to her. In the era of Memling, such diptychs were widespread. On the back of the board on which the portrait is written, the emblem of the customer is depicted, but still there are no results in attempts to determine the name of the one to whom he belonged.
Behind the shoulder of an unknown in the picture of Memling you can see a thin distant landscape. Nature, its advisable beauty, its special life - all this from the beginning of the 15th century, from the era of van Eyck, attracted the attention of Dutch painters, but remained in their works not the main, but secondary motive - the background for the biblical scene or portrait.