Rilke visited Bruges in the summer of 1906 and (among other things) saw Memling's St John Altarpiece - which he refers to in later letters, for example:
To the princess in January 1912: 'I hesitate infinitely, dear Princess, after writing what was so violently dictated to me the other day here on this Patmos, so that, when I think of it, I feel as though I had written with both hands, to the right and the left, like the Apostle in St. John’s Hospital in Bruges, so as to capture every word that was being given to me.'
To Benvenuta in 1914: ‘Like St. John the Evangelist, in Memling’s picture at Bruges thus would I write you, here on the flinty island of my heart, across which sweep the storms of ecstasy. I would write you with mine right hand, write you with mine left, unceasingly, obeying the inscribed beam from above...’
Are there other letters where Rilke discusses St John in Memling's painting?
With thanks for any information!
Persönliche Briefe an Freunde, Geliebte, Bekannte
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