Simon Bening Netherlandish

Not on view

Simon Bening was one of the most famous illuminators of the sixteenth century. This leaf, which is in an excellent state of preservation, was part of an opulent, two-volume book of hours made for Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg (1490–1545). Archbishop and elector of Mainz, Albrecht was an ambitious patron of the arts. In addition to two other manuscripts by Bening, Albrecht also commissioned works from Dürer, Grünewald, and Cranach. This Pietà, with its border scenes of Noli me tangere and the Holy Women at the Sepulcher, would have introduced the Hours of the Compassion of the Virgin in the first volume of Albrecht’s manuscript. Executed in the early 1520s, the Hours of Albrecht of Brandenburg date from the most productive decade of Bening’s long career.

Pietà, Simon Bening (Netherlandish, Ghent (?) 1483/84–1561 Bruges)  , with borders by an assistant, Tempera and gold leaf on parchment

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