Hans Memling was most probably born around the year 1430. We believe Memling served his apprenticeship at Mainz or Cologne, and later worked under Rogier van der Weyden. He came to Bruges at about 1467.
It is clear from his style that he was taught in the painting-room of Van der Weyden. He exchanged the asceticism of Van der Weyden for a feeling of less energetic concentration. He softened his teacher's asperities and hardness of expression.
Long after Rogier's death and his own settlement at Bruges, Memling preserved the traditions of sacred art which had been applied by Rogier van der Weyden. Memling purged his master's manner of excessive stringency, and added to his other qualities a velvet softness of pigment, a delicate transparence of colours, and yielding grace of slender forms.
work was as widely known and appreciated. His reputation was not confined to Flanders, but spreaded to Italy, France and England. His work suited the taste of that age in any European country.
His portraits of nobles were more characteristic, and probably more remarkable as likenesses, than any that Memling s contemporaries could produce.
At the close of Memling's career, his practice has become larger than he could compass alone; and, as was usual in such cases, the labour of disciples is substituted for his own.
Memling died on 11 August 1494 and left behind several children and a considerable property.