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The patron

In Bologna, at the time of the Bentivoglio family (late 15th – early 16th century), the fact of possessing a Book of Hours was something to brag about for the more important local families, especially after the presence of a great artist like Taddeo Crivelli in the city had made the art of illumination popular again towards the end of the 15th century. An art that had enjoyed great splendour during the previous centuries (as Dante mentioned in his “Divine Comedy”), but which had long-since fallen somewhat into disuse.
The creation of Books of Hours, especially the more precious ones, was often bound to important events or special occasions, such as weddings and political alliances.


The del Perugino family was of ancient Bolognese stock and included branches in many Italian towns.
Its members had often attempted to gain supremacy in the town without ever succeeding. On the contrary, every so often the more important members of the family got themselves expelled and had to take refuge elsewhere.
For example, an impoverished branch of the del Perugino family found shelter in the district of Alessandria, the birthplace of the future Pope Pius V, who was a shepherd as a child.


The coat-of-arms of the del Perugino family appears twice in the manuscript – on folios 16r and 74v – while the beginning of a prayer on folio 124v suggests that the book was written during the papacy of Alexander VI (1492-1503), i.e. around the year 1500.
As testified by a careful examination of the letters around the first coat-of-arms, the first owner of the work was Bonaparte del Perugino, elected senator of Bologna after his father Virgilio had been murdered in 1523.
Bonaparte del Perugino was still rather young at the time the manuscript was written, so the Book of Hours may have been commissioned by Virgilio as a gift for his son.



La Famiglia del Perugino
La Famiglia del Perugino

Il Committente del Codice
Il Committente del Codice

La pagina del Perugino
La pagina del Perugino

L'artista più illustre impegnato nella decorazione del libro d'Ore del Perugino è senza dubbio il Perugino.

la legatura
La legatura

La legatura del libro d'Ore del Perugino è un lavoro coevo di estrema complessità.

La vicenda del codice
Le vicende del codice

Dopo essere appartenuto agli inizi del XVI secolo alla famiglia bolognese del Perugino.