Leaves from the Hours of Albrecht of Brandenburg

Simon Bening


Born in Ghent, Simon Bening learned his craft from his father, the painter Alexander Bening. In 1500, Simon Bening moved to Bruges where he built a highly successful career. A versatile artist, Bening painted portable altarpieces on parchment as well as oil paintings on wooden panels. He was especially admired for his subtle use of light, colour and texture to create atmospheric landscapes and charming interiors. By extending the miniatures into the borders, and including subsidiary scenes, he added to the conceptual and visual complexity of the images. Enclosed within illusionistic picture frames, the miniatures function as small devotional panels. These leaves demonstrate Bening’s facility with pictorial narrative and illusionism as well as his creative adaptation of a wide range of models by the leading illuminators, painters and printmakers of the preceding generation, including the Vienna Master of Mary of Burgundy, Jan van Eyck,  Gerard David, Martin Schongauer and Albrecht Dürer.