Multi-criterial Studies of the Masterpiece
The Last Judgement, Attributed to Hans Memling, at the National Museum of Gdańsk (2010–2013)
The glorious triptych of Gdańsk, the “Last Judgement” ascribed to Hans Memling, had a very intricate history during the last five years of its creation, starting from 1473 when it was captured by pirates as a war-trophy. What's more, the latest, fascinating findings proved this artpiece to be even more intriguing. Researchers reconstructed artist painting practice and identified materials by an integrated muti-technique analytical approach. The secret of the masterpiece lies in the multiple versions of the underdrawing by more than one artist. This dissertation evaluates the results from different methods in the overall context and explaining the significant changes of the draw and under-drawing (design) of the central panel and of hundreds of smaller details anywhere in the triptych. The heuristic findings bring the reader to the knowledge of the technique and of the fascinating creative process of the painting. The aesthetically wonderful triptych as a material object is an important source of evidence about itself. On the base of technical evidences, probably it was designed by Rogier van der Weyden after 1460, and then continued by Hans Memling in Bruges. This genial artwork stands at the point of transition between Gothic art, proto Northern Renaissance and Italian Renaissance.