(b. 1483, Ghent, d. 1561, Bruges)


Flemish illuminator, part of a family of illuminators, son of Alexander (Sanders) Bening. Simon worked in Bruges and represents one of the final sparks of the tradition of illumination as the manuscript was overtaken by the printed book. He was perhaps the most celebrated illuminator of his time. By 1530 the Portuguese diplomat and humanist Damino de Goes had extolled him as the best craftsman in his line; Francisco de Holanda, also Portuguese, wrote in similar terms two decades later. Simon Bening is mentioned not only by the 16th-century Flemish historians Denis Harduyn and Antonius Sanderus, but also by Vasari and Lodovico Guicciardini.

Some of the illuminations in the Grimani Breviary are attributed to him. There is a self-portrait miniature by Simon in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His daughter, Levina Teerlinc (d. 1576) was also a miniaturist. She settled in London in 1546 and worked at the English court.

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