Donne Triptych

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The Donne Triptych by Hans Memling, c. 1470s, National Gallery, London.

The Donne Triptych (or Donne Altarpiece) is a hinged-triptych altarpiece by the Early Netherlandish painter Hans Memling. It consists of five individual panel paintings: a central inner panel, and two double-sided wings. It was painted for Sir John Donne, probably sometime between the late 1470s or early 1480s, and is in the permanent collection of the National Gallery, London, with the panels still in their original frames.

When Donne commissioned the work is unknown. Art historians have debated whether it was painted in the early 1480s, around the same time Memling painted Virgin and Child with Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Barbara, in New York at the Metropolitan Art Museum. An earlier date of sometime in the late 1470s is possible, at the time he completed the similar St John Altarpiece, or it may have been painted as a precursor to that altarpiece.[1][2][3]

The donor, Sir John Donne, was a Welsh-born diplomat for the House of York who visited Bruges at least once, in 1468 to attend Charles the Bold and Margaret of York's wedding; how he became acquainted with Memling is as uncertain as when he commissioned the triptych.[4]



  1. ^ "Virgin and Child with Saints". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  2. ^ Donne Triptych Archived April 25, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. National Gallery. Retrieved May 30, 2014
  3. ^ Blum, 92
  4. ^ Bruce, 79


  • Blum, Shirley Neilson. Early Netherlandish Triptychs: A Study in Patronage. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1969
  • Bruce, Donald. Contemporary Review. Aug 94, Vol. 265 Issue 1543, p. 72.