Hans Memling's triptych "The Last Judgement", commissioned by the representative of the Medicis' bank in Bruges, was originally destinated to one of the churches in Florence. The painting was captured on its way from Bruges to Italy by Paul Benecke (P. Benecke comanded the caravel "Peter of Gdansk") and brought to St. Mary's Church in Gdansk.
It was a time of the war between Hanse and England.
During the "northern war" tsar Peter the Great wanted to take the painting to Russia.
Napoleon war carried the picture to the museum in Paris.
After the downfall of the emperor "The Last Judgement" travelled to Berlin.
At that time Gdansk was under the Prussian control and the painting had been returned to St. Mary's Church and was there till the Second World War.
During the war Germans transferred it to Thuringia but Red Army took the picture to Leningrad to the "Hermitage" Museum.
The spring 1956 allowed for the painting come back to Gdansk.
The triptych has been exhibited in National Museum in Gdansk since September 1956.
Its measures: the central piece 222 x 161 cm, and the wings 222 x 80 cm.
In the central part the Last Day is imagined.
On the left side the redeemed enter the Heaven and on the right wing we see what will happen with the damned.
Nowadays the painting is exhibited in museums all over the world.
The citizens of Gdansk and visitors had the opportunity to compare the vision of the Last Day of Michelangelo Buonarotti and Hans Memling (exhibition "The Vision of the Last Day" in National Museum in Gdansk).
The citizens of Milwaukee had the opportunity to see the picture together with the painting of Leonardo da Vinci.
Actually "The Last Judgement" is a gem of the exhibition "Thesauri Poloniae" in Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
On the Message Board please find some announcements concerning the travelling of "The Last Judgement".
If you had the opportunity to see the painting anywhere or some work of Hans Memling kindly please share your impression with us and give us your comments. Thank you !!!

The Last Judgement
Hans Memling (1433/40-1494)
Bruges, 1467-1471
Oil and tempera on panel
Gdansk,National Museum


The Members from the United States who takes a keen interest in painting have a very good opportunity to see
among other "The Last Judgement"
(the scary painting of Hans Memling) and "Lady with an Ermine" (Leonardo da Vinci - the property Musuem in Cracov). These and other paintings you can see on the exhibition "SPLENDOR OF POLAND" in The Museum of Art in Milwaukee.
Leonardo da Vinci and the Splendor of Poland
..."The story of Poland’s most important public and private museum collections will be presented for the first time anywhere outside of Europe beginning September 13, 2002 as the Milwaukee Art Museum opens Leonardo da Vinci and The Splendor of Poland: A History of Collecting and Patronage. The exhibition runs through November 24, 2002".....
...."The centerpiece of the collection of 77 paintings representing French, Italian, Dutch and German artists is Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine (Ceilia Gallerani), an undisputed masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance. The powerful work also is particularly significant in that it was painted in approximately 1491 and anticipates the Mona Lisa (1505-14).".....
...."Other exhibition highlights reflect the proud history of collecting in Poland, including a love for the great Dutch and Flemish painters evident in the large numbers of their works found in the national collections, including Hans Memling’s The Last Judgement (1467-71), from Gdańsk".....

******** Dorothy wrote:
..."Wow! That last judgement looks quite frightful! It is nice to see the arts. I have done some paintings, and many say I do good work".....
******** Neil wrote:
"I looked at the Milwaukee Art, a nice tribute to Poland, and a treat for America to get the exhibit! Thanks for letting me know. Neil". _________________________________________________________________________________________
Leonardo da Vinci and the Splendor of Poland now in
On view through February 17, 2003 at the Caroline Wiess Law Building
This exhibition has been organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum.
..."Poland has a fascinating history of collecting art. Royal patrons were responsible for acquiring masterworks of art throughout the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. When Poland lost its independence in 1795 and was then partitioned geographically, the country´s art collections felt the impact. Cultural and political oppression culminated in the radical dismantling of collections and museums during Nazi and later Soviet rule"...
Concerning the History of Polish Collections
December 3, 2002 till March 2003
A Special Exhibition in Association with the
“Year of Poland” in Austria
Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna I,
This exhibition was the first survey of Polish treasures dating from the Late Middle Ages to the period of the Enlightenment....
..."The exhibit will have several focal points. Gdansk and Cracow were not only economic but also artistic and social centres of importance for the development of Poland. Their artistic magnificence will also be showcased in the exhibition. During the 16th and 17th century, German-Netherlandish (Hanseatic) elements encountered Polish elements which led to a very fruitful cultural exchange. In this context, the decoration of the church of Our Lady in Gdansk is of vital importance. Ist masterpiece, Memling`s magnificent Last Judgement, came to the church by chance in 1473 as booty from plundering raid"....