In 1467 he enrolled as master in the Ghent painters’ guild, sponsored by Joos van Wassenhove, master painter in Ghent in 1464 after registering in Antwerp in 1460. In 1469 the two together acted as guarantors for the illuminator Sanders Bening when he became a master, and it was from Hugo that Joos borrowed money when he went to Rome. Sanders Bening was married to Kathelijn van der Goes, perhaps Hugo’s sister. Hugo’s status within the guild is further attested by the fact that he was guarantor for two other painters in 1471 and 1475, that he was one of the dean’s jurors in 1468–9 and that he himself served as dean from towards the end of 1473–4 to at least 18 August 1475. He was employed regularly by the town of Ghent between 1468 and 1474 for the decorative ephemera essential to the pageants of public life.