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Simon Bening (1483-1561)

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These are three of the six miniatures at the Fitzwilliam which, together with many others now dispersed around the world, once embellished a sumptuous Book of Hours made for Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg (1490-1545), Archbishop and Elector of Mainz, primate of Germany, distinguished art collector and patron of Dürer, Cranach and Grünewald. He commissioned the manuscript from Simon Bening, the greatest Flemish illuminator of the sixteenth century, who lived in Bruges, but enjoyed an international clientele, including the ruling houses of Europe.

Cockerell knew the miniatures by 1908 when he borrowed them for his exhibition at the Burlington Fine Arts Club from the Rev. Edward Samuel Dewick. Upon his death, Dewick bequeathed his two best manuscripts to the Fitzwilliam and Cockerell persuaded his son to sell these miniatures to the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Simon Bening (1483-1561) The Annunciation, Bruges, c.1522 Simon Bening (1483-1561), The Last  Judgment, c.1522 Simon Bening (1483-1561), The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, Bruges c.1522

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