The two portraits in the Brukenthal Art Gallery are companion pieces, depicting a middle-aged couple in three-quarter view presentation, in a manner typical of the Flemish school. The two sitters were identified as the donors Pieter Bultynck and Katharina van Riebeke of Memling’s painting, The Seven Joys of the Virgin, in the possession of the Alte Pinakothek, Munich. The above mentioned religious painting was probably donated on an important date in the life of the two, their engagement or their marriage, for their names are engraved on the original silver frame of the painting, as was the custom with the name of donors. ©Dana Roxana Hrib, European Art Gallery Guidebook, Second edition, Sibiu 2011.


  • Title: Portrait of a Man Reading
  • Creator: Hans Memling
  • Date: c. 1480
  • Physical Dimensions: w32.5 x h45 cm (Without frame)
  • Photo copyright: ©Christof Weber
  • Collecting: Brukenthal National Museum, Sibiu, Romania
  • Artist Biography: Hans Memling was born in the region of the Middle Rhine, spent his apprenticeship in Mainz and Cologne under Rogier van der Weyden and, then, went to work in Holland. He left for Bruges around the year 1465 and his art gave a measure of brilliance to this city that was undergoing a political and commercial slump. His talent was not recognized in Italy and Flanders during his lifetime, where his reputation began to be established only in the 16th century. He made his reputation as a portrait painter of refined aristocratic characters and he also painted a number of altarpieces, in a style sharply contrasting the Venetian school. He was a great favourite with the British Romantic and Victorian public, who admired his nicely balanced style, always ready to enchant and never prepared to give offence. ©Dana Roxana Hrib, European Art Gallery Guidebook, Second edition, Sibiu 2011.
  • Provenance: Brukenthal National Museum
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: oil on wood

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