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Maria Portinari

Portrait of Maria Portinari (c. 1470–72) is a small tempera and oil-on-wood painting by Hans Memling. It portrays Maria Maddalena Baroncelli, about whom very little is known. Around 14 years old, she is depicted shortly before her wedding to the Italian banker Tommaso Portinari, who was an intimate of Charles the Bold and manager of the Bruges branch of a bank controlled by Lorenzo de' Medici. Maria is dressed in the height of late 15th-century fashion, with an elaborate jewel-studded necklace and a long black hennin with a transparent veil. Her headdress is similar and necklace identical to those in her depiction in Hugo van der Goes's Portinari Altarpiece (c. 1475), a painting that may have been partly based on Memling's portrait. The panel is the right wing of a hinged devotional triptych; the lost center panel is recorded in 16th-century inventories as a Virgin and Child. Maria and Tommaso's portraits are hung alongside each other at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. (Full article...)

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