Oil on wood, 69 x 47 cm (central), 63,5 x 18,5 cm each wing)
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
By Hans Memling
(b. ca. 1440, Seligenstadt, d. 1494, Bruges)
The triptych with the Virgin and Child Enthroned in Vienna must have been painted before 1488. The present donor, dressed in a dark tabard, is not by Memling and conceals another figure who turns out to be none other than Abbot Jan Crabbe, who died in 1488. The wings show the two St Johns with the `living' figures of Adam and Eve in niches on the exterior (seen when the wings are closed).
For the first time the painting includes the italianate motif of putti stretching festoons across the scene at the top. Similar figures appear on a couple of other occasions in Memling, including the Resurrection triptych (Paris, Musée du Louvre) and the Virgin Enthroned in Florence.