Book of Hours, Simon Bening (Netherlandish, Ghent (?) 1483/84–1561 Bruges), Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment; modern red leather binding, Netherlandish

Book of Hours

Artist:
Simon Bening (Netherlandish, Ghent (?) 1483/84–1561 Bruges)
Date:
ca. 1530–35
Geography:
Made in Bruges, present-day Belgium
Culture:
Netherlandish
Medium:
Tempera, gold, and ink on parchment; modern red leather binding
Dimensions:
Manuscript: 2 9/16 × 2 1/16 × 1 1/8 in. (6.5 × 5.2 × 2.9 cm)
Folio: 2 5/16 × 1 5/8 in. (5.9 × 4.2 cm)
Illumination only: 1 7/8 × 1 5/16 in. (4.8 × 3.4 cm)
Text area: 1 7/16 in. × 1 in. (3.6 × 2.6 cm)
Classification:
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 2015
Accession Number:
2015.706
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 13
This diminutive Book of Hours is one of Simon Bening’s prayerful jewels, intended for use at regular intervals throughout the twenty-four- hour day (ideally every three hours). It was a reminder of the omnipresence of God, meant to be attached to its owner, or stored with precious possessions. There is a special magic achieved by Bening’s exceptional skill at creating a miniature world. The miniatures follow standard convention, but Bening consistently tweaks the presentation, making this manuscript exceptionally poignant and affecting.
Private Collection, South America (before 2001) ; sale, Christie's, London (July 9, 2001, no. 35) ; Private Collection, Europe ; [ Dr. Jörn Günther Antiquariat, Switzerland (2015)]
Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts. London: Christie's, July 9, 2001. no. 35, pp. 128–37.

Wüstefeld, Wilhelmina C. M., and Erene Rafik Morcos, ed. Parchment and Gold: 25 years of Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books. Catalogue 11. Stalden: Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books, 2015. no. 59, pp. 306–15.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Forty-Sixth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 146 (2016). p. 41.

Boehm, Barbara Drake, and Alexandra Suda. "Handpicked: Collecting Boxwood Carvings from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-First Centuries." In Small Wonders: Late-Gothic Boxwood Micro-Carvings from the Low Countries, edited by Frits Scholten. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 2016. pp. 354–55, fig. 144.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 2014-2016." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 74, no. 2 (Fall 2016). p. 32.