BENING, Alexander
(active 1469, Gent, d. 1519, Gent)


Alexander (Sanders) Bening, Flemish illuminator, part of a family of illuminators. In 1469 he became a member of the Guild of St Luke and St John in Ghent and paid a deposit on the admission fee; he nominated Hugo van der Goes and Joos van Wassenhove as guarantors for the remainder. Sanders and his family lived in Ghent, but in 1486 he also joined the Bruges Guild of St John and St Luke, whose membership embraced all those concerned with the production of books. He did not, however, pay dues to the Bruges guild annually, indicating that he did not have a permanent workshop in Bruges but only worked there occasionally, probably to execute particular commissions. He travelled to Antwerp on family business in 1514.

No documented works by him are known, but attempts have been made to identify him with the Master of Mary of Burgundy, which would give him an artistic status appropriate to the success he seems to have enjoyed.

He married Kathelijn van der Goes, probably a sister or niece of the painter Hugo van der Goes, and his own sister married Goswijn van der Weyden. Sanders and his wife had two sons, Simon Bening, also an illuminator, and Paul Bening.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.