Hans Memling, in his Triptych of Jan Crabbe, depicted a man at the feet of Christ with a cloak that looks as if it were made of alabaster. The painting was split up in the eighteenth century and the inner wings later became part of the collection of Pierpont Morgan. Two other sections now belong to museums in Venice and Bruges, and the work has been reunited for American audiences for the first time in this exhibition, subtitled "Portraiture, Piety, and a Reunited Altarpiece." Completing the show are additional portraits by Memling as well as illuminated manuscripts and drawings by his contemporaries.
Hans Memling, The Triptych of Jan Crabbe (detail), ca. 1467-70. Courtesy Pinacoteca Civica di Palazzo Chiericati, Vicenza / © The Morgan Library & Museum / Photography by Graham S. Haber.
The early Netherlandish painters, who flourished in the north of Europe during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, had a sensibility for abstraction. Although they were participants in the Renaissance, which prized naturalism above all, they still sometimes painted as anti-realists — as when