The similarity of this artwork is striking with the left wing of the triptych in smaller scale made by Memling in 1479 for Jan Floreins. The Virgin is almost identical even in the folds of her dress. The other characters are arranged with slight differences and the background landscape is not the same.
The rediscovered painting can not be regarded as a mere copy. The attention to detail is extreme, and at some places it results from successive trials. The artist had not however all the experience of the master and this work is obviously not autograph. The painting technique is contemporary of Memling.
The painting was analyzed by infrared reflectography and X rays. It had been prepared by underdrawings in chalk that further enhance the comparison with Memling and have certainly been made from model drawings available in his workshop. Memling used this sketching technique since his apprenticeship with Rogier van der Weyden.
This interesting example of the Flemish Renaissance in very good condition is estimated € 1.2M for sale on April 19 in Vienna by Dorotheum, lot 12.
The auction house is questioning the reason why a work performed with such care is not autograph. Two explanations are possible: a high work load in this workshop very busy at the end of Memling's career or the achievement of an order still pending at the master's death in 1494.
SOLD for € 1.2M including premium
I invite you to watch the video shared by Dorotheum: