- Museum number
Group from a Mount of Calvary; the Virgin swooning at left, supported by St John, St Mary Magdalene kneeling at centre, mounted soldiers including one on a camel at right
Pen and brown and black ink over black chalk
Watermark: Gothic letter 'Y' surmounted by a cross, the tail consisting of two lines and ending in a trefoil (72 by 23 mm; 41 mm between chainlines; cf Piccard 30208, dated around 1461 and Piccard 30499, dated around 1462)
- Production date
- 1490-1500 (c.)
Height: 256 millimetres
Width: 289 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This composition shows a variation on the central figures in Memling's 1491 Passion Triptych (or Greverade Triptych), now in the St Annen-Museum, Lübeck, inv.no.1948/138; see D. De Vos, 'Hans Memling', London, 1994, cat.no.90. Two painted triptychs in the Frans Halsmuseum in Haarlem (inv.no.I-748) and in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest (inv.no.124 and 6707) might be variations on another (now lost) Crucifixion triptych by Memling.
This drawing cannot be a mere copy from one of these existing panels or even from a now lost painting as the groups of figures are fitted too tightly onto the sheet and there is no interaction between them. The figures are not placed in the correct positions in order to represent the actual subject of this composition, i.e. the crucifixion: Christ on the cross is absent and the mourning figures of the Virgin and St Mary Magdalene therefore seem to be out of place. The groups of cavalrymen seem to be awkwardly positioned in the composition with legs of horses visible in anatomically incorrect positions. It is therefore plausible that this sheet is a compilation of several elements copied from these type of Memling paintings, possibly even made by an artist working in Memling's studio or workshop.
De Vos describes the style of this drawing as 'directly linked to Memling'. Popham describes this drawing as either a copy after a lost Memling composition or as an original drawing by Memling. According to Stephanie Buck the present sheet is stylistically related to two other anonymous drawings, formerly described as in the manner of Hans Memling: 'St Barbara, St Catherine and St Margaret' (Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv.no.20683) and 'St Margaret as a shepherdess with the coat of arms of the Enghien de Kestergat family' (Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, inv.no.4328; as Circle of Rogier van der Weyden; the artist was presumably working in Brussels where the Enghien de Kestergat family lived).
Literature: G. Waagen, 'Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain', vol.IV, 1887, p. 34; W.H.J. Weale, in 'Le Beffroi' 3 (1866-1870), pp.348; L. Kämmerer, 'Memling, Leipzig, 1899, p.130; K. Voll, 'Memling', Stuttgart, 1909, p.xlii; D. De Vos, 'Hans Memling: The Complete Works', London, 1994, p.329, note 15, fig.90e; D. De Vos (ed.), 'Hans Memling', exh.cat. Groeningemuseum, Bruges 1994, p.168, cat.no.47 (as after Memling, late fifteenth century); S. Buck, 'Die Niederländischen Zeichnungen des 15. Jahrhunderts im Berliner Kupferstichkabinett', Berlin, 2001, cat.no.I.8 (as Circle of Rogier van der Weyden; Enghien de Kestergat family from Brussels), pp.103-108, esp. note 4; T. Ketelsen and U. Neidhardt (edd.), ''Das Geheimnis des Jan van Eyck", exh.cat. Dresden, 2005, p.96, fig.1 (as after Memling).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1973, BM, Netherlandish prints and drawings (no cat.)
1994 Aug-Nov, Bruges, Groeninge Museum, 'Hans Memling', no. 47
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number