Languages for All
Short Courses
Your basket
Your account

Fifteenth-Century Netherlandish Art II: The Age of Hans Memling (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

Wednesdays from 17th January 2024 (Code AA168-203) Wednesdays from
17th January 2024 11:10am - 1:00pm • (10 classes)
G36A Paterson's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Lesley Fraser MA (Hons) MSc MPhil
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

The second of two courses exploring the rich artistic talent of the Netherlands in the fifteenth century. During this period, urbanisation brought rich patrons who employed some of the most gifted artists of their day: painters such as Petrus Christus, Hans Memling, and Hugo van der Goes. This course will examine the work of these artists and others, and their contribution to Netherlandish and European culture.


Course Details

Content of Course

Week 1: Petrus Christus, successor to Jan van Eyck, Madonna of Jan Vos, Goldsmith in his Shop, the first advertising billboard? Last Judgement

Week 2:  Dirk Bouts, his relationship to Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden. The Lamentation and the Last Judgement

Week 3: Hans Memling, the most successful portraitist of his generation, Portrait of a Man with a Pink, Portrait of Gilles Joye, Portrait of William and Barbara Moreel 

Week 4: Hans Memling, Part II, Passion of Christ, St Ursula Casket

Week 5: Hugo van der Goes, melancholy and mediocrity, The Death of the Virgin, Monforte Altarpiece, Nativity with Shepherds

Week 6: A Medieval Mystery: Hans Memling, the Last Judgement and Hugo van der Goes, the Portinari Altarpiece

Week 7: Music of the Burgundian Netherlands, origin of the ‘Renaissance sound’, expressed in paintings

Week 8: Gerard David, the Justice of Cambyses, the Virgin among Virgins, the Nativity Triptych

Week 9: Netherlandish Art in transition: Quentin Matsys; Geertgen tot Sint James and Jan Gossart.  

Week 10: Material culture: hierarchy of artistic production; changing status of the artist; marketing art.

Teaching method(s)

Classroom teaching, PowerPoint presentation, class discussion.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a wide-ranging knowledge of the major Netherlandish artists;

  • Appreciate their role in the changing status of the artist;

  • Understand the role of patronage for art production during this period;

  • Critically engage with the historical circumstances and extant evidence.


Core Readings


Nash, Susie (2008), Northern Renaissance Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Campbell, Lorne (1998), The Fifteenth-Century Netherlandish Schools. London: National Gallery Publications


Belozerskaya, Marina (2002), Rethinking the Renaissance: Burgundian Arts Across Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Chipps Smith, Jeffrey (2004), The Northern Renaissance. London: Phaidon

Class Handouts

Lists of works consulted, suggestions for further reading and background summaries will be provided.


10 credit courses have one assessment. Normally, the assessment is a 2000 word essay, worth 100% of the total mark, submitted by week 12. To pass, students must achieve a minimum of 40%. There are a small number of exceptions to this model which are identified in the Studying for Credit Guide.

Studying for Credit

If you choose to study for credit you will need to allocate significant time outwith classes for coursework and assessment preparation. Credit points gained from this course can count towards the Certificate of Higher Education.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.