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Monday, October 06, 2008

The Beauty of the Miniaturist

Simon Bening (1483-1561)
Flemish, probably Bruges,
Villagers going to Church
about 1550
Tempera colors and gold paint on parchment
2 3/16 x 3 3/4 in.
MS. 50, RECTO
The Getty Museum, Los Angeles


Simon Bening (1483-1561)
Flemish, probably Bruges,
Gathering Twigs
about 1550
Tempera colors and gold paint on parchment
2 3/16 x 3 3/4 in.
MS. 50, VERSO


The miniature have probably been cut from the lower border of the calendar of a book of hours

Simon Bening was one of the most celebrated painters of Flanders in the 1500s

He worked for many international royal and important patrons

The reputation of this Flemish illuminator was such that he even won praise from Georgio Vasari in his 'The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects', first published in 1550

His daughter, Levina Teerlinc, about 1510/20-76 accompanied her husband to England and was part of the Royal household. She was first mentioned in Henry VIII's household records in 1546, as Levina Teerlinc. Initial payments to Levina Teerlinc were one-off and for work as a 'Paintrix'. Later she was a gentlewoman to both Mary I and the young Princess Elizabeth. She continued in royal service, living in Stepney, London through the reigns of Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I until her death in 1576.