Heritage Wood pp 197-226 | Cite as

Multi-Disciplinary Complex Research to Reconsider Basic Questions on Attribution and Dating of the Last Judgment Triptych from National Museum in Gdańsk by Rogier van der Weyden and Hans Memling

  • Iwona SzmelterEmail author
  • Tomasz Ważny
Part of the Cultural Heritage Science book series (CUHESC)


A multi-disciplinary study of the Last Judgment triptych in the National Museum in Gdansk considers the oak support, underdrawing, paint and the interpretation of the artistic process, shedding new light on the work and its creation. Cutting-edge in situ analysis and the examination of micro-samples has been undertaken. The results demonstrate that the work had been created following the Flemish tradition of painting in the Low Countries in the second half of the fifteenth century. Dendrochronology has provided data on the earliest date for the preparation of the oak support to ca. 1460. Infrared reflectography reveals underdrawings showing that in the Christological centre of the composition there were major changes. The triptych was first attributed to brothers van Eyck, then Rogier van der Weyden, in 1843 to Hans Memling. In light of analytical results we suggest that the triptych is the posthumous completion of a work designed and composed by Rogier van der Weyden and finished by Hans Memling.


Technical study Attribution Rogier van der Weydan Hans Memling Triptych 



The authors thank colleagues from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Prof. Przemysław Trzeciak for valuable comments and cooperation, and Roman Stasiuk, Piotr Zambrzycki for the tests. Thanks to many foreign collaborators for their commitment to the CHARISMA-MOLAB research campaigns: Prof. Antonio Sgamellotti, Prof. Bruno Brunetti, Dr. Constanza Miliani, Dr. Laura Cartechini, Dr. Aldo Romani, Dr. Chiara Anselmi, Dr. Brenda Doherty and Dr. Francesca Rosi of CNR-ISTM in Perugia, to Dr. Mattia Patti at the University of Pisa, Dr. Luca Pezzati of INOA, Florence. I would also like to thank Laboratorio Universitario di Nanomaterials (Luna), the Department of Physics, University of Perugia for the SEM measurements. Special thanks are due to Dr. Philippe Walter, Helene H. Rousselière, E. Van Elslande, the CHARISMA-MOLAB-FIXLAB LAMS-CNRS, Laboratoire d’Archéologie Moléculaire et Structurale-UPMC-UMR of France. I would also like to expresess my thanks to scholars from Poland: Prof. Piotr Targowski.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Conservation-Restoration of ArtworksAcademy of Fine ArtsWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Faculty of Fine Arts/Conservation and Restoration of Works of ArtNicolaus Copernicus UniversityTorunPoland
  3. 3.Laboratory of Tree-Ring ResearchUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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