Not only is this stunning codex in pristine condition, but it is one of the rare cases of a book for which we can identify the writer, illuminator, and even the first owner. The original escutcheon can probably be ascribed to Pasquale Diaz Garlon or Diascarlon (1420-1499) from Catalonia, who came to Naples in the entourage of Alfonso of Aragon.
Likely a personal prayer book, this manuscript is comprised of the hymns for the liturgical year beginning with Corpus Christi in October, followed by hymns for the Sanctoral. The illumination is extremely elegant, using bright, vivid colours, and bianchi girari initials.
All of the above stylistic characteristics point to the workshop of Cola (Nicola) Rapicano (fl. 1451-1488). In 1455, he was appointed court illuminator to King Alfonso V of Aragon (r. 1442-1458). Rapicano is first documented in the payments of the royal treasury in 1451, in which he is classified as a scribe and again in 1456 as an illuminator.
Read more about this fantastic manuscript in our 2021 publication, Collecting Culture.