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Simon Bening: 14 cool facts

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By Gwylym Owen

Simon Bening (c. 1483 – 1561) was a Flemish miniaturist, generally regarded as the last major performer of the Netherlandish tradition.

Bening, born either in Ghent or Antwerp, was probably trained by his father, illuminator Alexander Bening, in the relations workshop in Ghent. He travelled in the middle of Ghent and Bruges and became a zealot of the guild of San John and Saint Luke in Bruges as an illuminator in 1508. He made his own read out after touching to Bruges in roughly 1510, where he had lived since. From 1517 to 1555 he is listed regularly in the guild’s annual accounts. Bening served as a dean of the calligraphers, booksellers, illuminators and bookbinders in the Guild of Saint John and Saint Luke three sever times (1524, 1536, 1546).

He was married twice and had six daughters. Two of them continued the intimates artistic tradition: Levina Teerlinc became a miniature painter, mostly of portrait miniatures, and emigrated to England, and Alexandrine Claeiszuene became a well-off art dealer.

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