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Old 11-01-2011, 01:10 PM
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stapeliad stapeliad is offline
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November- December: Hans Memling

=http://www.hansmemling.org

Hans Memling (Memlinc) (c. 1430 - 11 August 1494) was an Early Netherlandish painter, born in Seligenstadt/Germany, who was the last major fifteenth century artist in the Low Countries, the successor to Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, whose tradition he continued with little innovation.

Born in Seligenstadt, near Frankfurt in the Middle Rhein region, it is believed that Memling served his apprenticeship at Mainz or Cologne, and later worked in the Netherlands under Rogier van der Weyden (c. 1455-1460). He then went to Bruges around 1465

Complete biography

http://www.hansmemling.org/biography.html

*************************************

Painting Methods
These are all relatively small works, all on panels.
Size recommendation is whatever you are comfortable with, as long as the proportions are correct. I would say the approx size ranges are between 11x14 to16x20.

Here is a thread from earlier this year which talks about van Eyke.


This style is very linear and delicate. You can see how detailed and fine the drawings are for these paintings. The paint layers are thin glazes over the very detailed drawing.

********************************************

Palette recommendations: I think earth tones would be very appropriate for all these paintings, as well as an approximation to vermillion for the Virgin and Child painting.

*********************************************


Angel with an Olive Branch, Emblem of Divine Peace


link to Image




Isn’t this pretty? The background is gold. You can be really ambitious and use gold leaf (you will have to look up those instructions), or you could paint the area yellow with maybe some patches of your earth red, let it dry, and overlay it with gold oil paint. That would look very nice.

Recommended Palette:
Any earth red (transparent red oxide is a good choice, so is burnt sienna)
Yellow Ochre
French Ultramarine
Burnt Umber
Ivory OR Mars Black
Flake white (or titanium if you prefer)

Gold
Several brands carry gold. WN makes a very nice Renaissance Gold. Williamsburg also makes a nice gold. Gamblin’s is probably good too, though I haven’t personally tried it.


St John and Veronica Diptych (reverse of the right wing)

link to image




There is a lot of trompe l'oeil in these Early Renaissance paintings. Here is one I thought was cool looking but relatively simple.

Recommended Palette:
Any earth red (transparent red oxide is a good choice, so is burnt sienna)
Yellow Ochre
French Ultramarine
Burnt Umber
Ivory OR Mars Black
Flake white (or titanium if you prefer)

You do not need gold paint for this painting. That shimmer is done through proper values.


Diptych with the Allegory of True Love

Link to image



I love this lady; she lives at the Met. I want a dress like that!! And look at the wonderful stylized forms in the trees! This is the one I am painting, on a 10x20 support.


Recommended Palette:
Any earth red (transparent red oxide is a good choice, so is burnt sienna)
Alizarin or equivalent
Yellow Ochre
French Ultramarine
Burnt Umber
Ivory OR Mars Black
Flake white (or titanium if you prefer)


Portinari Triptych (central panel) 1487

link to image



I tried to find a Virgin and Child where the baby didn’t look creepy, as I think they usually do. This one is ok though. I love Mary’s expression as she looks at her son.

Recommended Palette:
Any earth red (transparent red oxide is a good choice, so is burnt sienna)
Vermillion or equivalent**
Yellow Ochre
French Ultramarine
Burnt Umber
Ivory OR Mars Black
Flake white (or titanium if you prefer)

**Genuine Vermillion is difficult to find and is also extremely toxic. There are some versions of vermillion equivalents. I have a Lukas 1862 vermillion which is very nice. Otherwise a bright warm red would suffice. You can use cadmium red light. Rembrandt makes a lovely perm. red medium which would also be good.

The Donne Triptych (left wing) c. 1475

Link to image



For those that want a perspective challenge and a full figure. Gold paint would be nice to use for the halo.

Recommended Palette:
Any earth red (transparent red oxide is a good choice, so is burnt sienna)
Alizarin or equivalent
Yellow Ochre
French Ultramarine
Burnt Umber
Ivory OR Mars Black
Flake white (or titanium if you prefer)

Gold
Several brands carry gold. WN makes a very nice Renaissance Gold. Williamsburg also makes one. Gamblin’s is probably good too, though I haven’t personally tried it.

The purple can be mixed with your ultramarine and alizarin and a tiny bit of the earth red.
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Last edited by stapeliad : 11-01-2011 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:44 AM
moscatel moscatel is offline
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Jessica, great references!
The angel is fabulous and the still life too, but without the snake. They are all gorgeous, makes it difficult to choose.
Seeing the angel makes me want to purchase gold leaf, maybe on-line.. let's see what I can find.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:30 AM
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Marigold Marigold is offline
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Hello Jessica,

I have been looking forward to the new Painting with the Masters project. Let me say you and the other hosts have provided an excellent variety of selections over the past months! It has been very inspiring and educational.

Hans Memling is another interesting and challenging choice. Art from this period is difficult to get access to (I used to skip those wings in the big galleries) On first sight the paintings seem cold, formal and unoriginal, the content too predictalbe and too far removed from our life and world view today. What do we do with another Madonna with Child? Yet I have found that when I take the time to really look at such pieces of "old art", their beauty can deeply move me. They can teach me much about drawing and painting, composition, use of symbols etc. They also give new insight into the history of painting, because those were the works of art that future generations of painters have drawn inspiration from.

I am already hooked I will certainly do at least some drawings or a small study.

Moscatel - I might also have a go with the Angel with Olive Branch! I have no experience at all with gold leaf - and no idea what the cost of the materials might be, well I'll see.

Susanne

Last edited by Marigold : 11-02-2011 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:40 AM
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

hi Moscatel and Susanne! great to see you jooning in this month's project!

Susanne I totally agree with your assessment...I love these galleries at the Met though. these early Renaissance works have a very magical quality to them...and the portrait miniatures are fantastic!

Here is a thread with info on painting techniques.

I am also re-posting my images of an unfinished panel at the Met so you cans ee what these paintings look like underneath the paint.







Memling took over Van Eyck's studio. These were early days of glazing, so this would definitely be a good approach for any of these paintings. In any case, the initial drawing is very well-developed and will be an essential part of the process.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:43 AM
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Also, here is the pic I took of the girl in the red dress.

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Old 11-02-2011, 10:51 AM
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Jessica, thanks for posting the unfinished panel, this is very instructional. I am wondering why the shadows in the underdrawing are hatched. I have seed this several times in other paintings from the period. Is the ground so absorbing that the oil color can not be blended? Or is the underdrawing done in a non-oil medium, like tempera? Do you know anything about that?

The lady in the red dress is lovely.

Susanne
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:12 AM
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Susanne, I honestly am not sure but I noticed it too. My best guess is that these drawings were not done with a brush but rather a quill or pen of some kind. It might be temera or even ink.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:41 PM
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Jessica, congratulations on another great choice!
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:58 PM
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Great choice Jessica , never really done a still life master copy so st johns it is
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:30 PM
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Hi Leigh, I am very glad to have you joining us!
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:22 AM
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Jessica, I think you should have a dress like that made for you; you would look wonderful in it! I like the trompe l'oeil vase, and may give it a try if I get some time! Lovely thread, and lots of challenge to the modern eye!
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:49 AM
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marigold
Jessica, thanks for posting the unfinished panel, this is very instructional. I am wondering why the shadows in the underdrawing are hatched.

I suspect it's because oil painting techniques at the time were still derived from those used for tempera. The same sort of precise drawing and hatched shadows were the beginning of every tempera painting, so it was carried forward into the relatively new medium of oil.

But that sort of hatching was still useful for establishing where the darkest values were to go. Having looked at some other artists' work from this period and experimented with their techniques, the first layers of paint tend to be translucent or semi-opaque, rather than transparent. The hatched shadows would show through the first layer of local color just enough to indicate where subsequent glazes in the shadow areas should go. And one nice thing about the hatched under-drawing is that even though it shows through only faintly, it gives some liveliness to the shadow areas.

The hatching isn't used on areas of skin. To get that smooth, flawless appearance, the shadows were lightly underpainted in gray or brown to establish values, then subsequent layers of fleshtones went over that.

As for the general painting technique, it's similar to tempera in that a mid-tone local color was applied to an area, then the lights were built up by working back into that still-wet area with white. Once that was dry, deeper shadows were glazed in. Then, at the end, came any additional glazes needed to modify color or value.

And stapeliad isn't kidding about the detailed drawing being an essential part of the process; it shows through the paint and is absolutely crucial to the sharp-focus look of these paintings. I enjoy using this technique; it's not horribly difficult and the results can be amazing, but getting the drawing right before you break out the paints is 95% of it.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:02 AM
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Awesome. I was studying van der weyden for a painting a few months ago and will definitely be joining in this month.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:18 AM
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Hello Leigh, Nancy and Edgah it is great to have you all on bord!

Magical, thank you for all this input. I will try to find out what material may be used for the underdrawing with hatched strokes (charcoal is too dark I think?).

I did some brief research on the Angel. I was wondering about the format - the cut off wings are odd, I thought that in the 15th century more complete figures would be preferred. The painting is in possession of the Louvre in Paris. The panel is very small: only 10x16cm (4x6.3in). According to the Louvre catalogue, the painting was part of a small triptych. It is a fragment of the left wing. So the painting used to be larger, and the current frame is not original.

Its sibling - the right wing - belongs to the Wallace collection in London. Its measurements are larger: 41x16cm (16x6.3in) As triptychs tend to be symmetrical in shape, I assume that the Angel with the Olive branch was originally also a full figure with the same panel size.


If I paint the Angel, I am thinking about adjusting the format so I can show the complete wings.

Susanne
Attached Images
  

Last edited by Marigold : 11-03-2011 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:25 AM
moscatel moscatel is offline
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Re: November- December: Hans Memling

Susanne, thank you for the information. Very interesting to read. I'm drawing the angel already. I must check if I could still fit the full wings. Could be cool to see the entire wings.

Interesting the original size: 10x16cm. So very small!
I'm doing by change quite small too 22x27 cm. (about 9x11")

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