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

Flower Book of Hours

1520-25
Manuscript (Clm 23637), 165 x 112 mm
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich

The Flowers Book of Hours by Simon Bening ranks among the most beautiful works of book illumination in general. It is an impressive example of Flemish book illumination which in the 16th century was clearly at its height. The manuscript bears its name because the text pages are decorated with innumerable flowers and beasts of unprecedented variety and colourfulness.

Among all Book of Hours, this masterpiece is distinguished by two special features: first by the loosely arranged decoration framing the text on each page with flowers and birds; second, by countless variations of page layout within one and the same manuscript. In terms of decoration and layout, this work clearly is the unsurpassed highlight of book art at this time.

The miniature on folio 93v shows the Adoration of the Magi.




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