This sophisticated pocket-sized Book of Hours was illuminated in Bologna by the Master of the Libro dei Notai, an illuminator who has been quite certainly identified as the Bolognese illuminator Domenico Pagliarolo, closely linked artistically to Taddeo Crivelli. Crivelli was one of the most celebrated artists from Ferrara, who moved to Bologna after 1471.
Our manuscript boasts four historiated initials in fully illuminated borders, with distinctive roundels showing antique busts, all in blue, green, and red camaïeu technique. These striking characteristics are also to be found in the Manzini Hours, kept in Ferrara and painted by the same master. The identification of the coat of arms in the lower margin introductory page of the Hours of the Virgin points to the Bolognese Manzoli family, namely to Melchiorre di Giorgio Manzoli (1455/1460-1527), who served as ambassador and servitor to Pope Julius II, Given the presence of Manzoli’s arms, this eye-catching Book of Hours was likely made for him.