Benedetto di Tommaso Portinari, a Florentine, represented the Medici bank in Bruges. In 1470 he married Maria Baroncelli; he was 38 and she was only 14. It was soon after their marriage that Portinari commissioned Hans Memling the pair of portraits of himself and his wife, which must have originally been the wings of a triptych.
See: Hans Memling Portraits of Tommaso Portinari and his wife.
In 1487 Hans Memling fulfilled
another portrait of Benedetto di Tommaso Portinari. Portrait of Benedetto
di Tommaso Portinari and St. Benedict are presumed to be the wings for
a triptych painted for the Portinary family, whose central panel, a Madonna
with Child, is in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.
See: Hans Memling Portrait of Tommaso Portinari and St. Benedict. More.
Tommaso Portinari, who loved Flemish art, also commissioned Hugo
van der Goes to paint the famous Portinari alterpiece.
This great triptych, painted in Bruges in around 1475, originally stood on the high altar of the church of Sant’ Egidio dell’ Arcispedale of Santa Maria Nuova, patronized by the Portinari family. The side wings carry portraits of Tommaso Portinari, his wife, Maria Maddalena Baroncelli and the first three of their 10 children, with their respective holy protectors, SS. Anthony Abbot, Thomas, Margaret and Mary Magdalene. The reverse sides on the wings bear the Annunciation and are fulfilled in monochrome. The Portinari Altar profoundly influenced the development of the Florentine painting and could be felt in the works of Ghirlandaio, Filippino Lippi, and Leonardo da Vinci.
See: Hugo van der Goes The Portinari Altar.