Selected Works

    These eight portraits take their poses and contexts from the works by the legendary 15th century Flemish master Hans Memling but Wiley has substituted contemporary sitters for the historical figures. At a time when portraits were still rare, Memling was among the first to paint individuals who were not royalty or members of the clergy. Memling’s portraits of increasingly influential powerful merchant class of his day represent a quiet revolution within Flemish society. Memling’s painting featured naturalistic settings which granted his sitters a veracity and life not found with the single colour backgrounds previously used for individual portraiture while integrating this naturalistic background. The active gaze of Wiley’s sitters—a departure from Memling’s work—leads the viewer to think more carefully about the individual lives and experience behind the individuals depicted in the images.