93. A brief account of the office of prior of the Monte di Pietà of Bologna and its rules

Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna
PLACE OF DEPARTURE: Bologna
GENERAL INFORMATION: Paper, 28 x 21 x 2 cm. Datable seventeenth century.

The register, which has a cardboard binding covered in parchment, consists of a series of unnumbered sheets. From a cultural and artistic point of view, the most interesting aspect of this archival piece lies in the representation of Christ in Pietà depicted on the front cover. The register is organised in the form of a monthly schedule, indicating for each month the main functions that the prior of the congregation of the 12 presidents of the Monte di Pietà of Bologna had to perform, including the ceremonies and rituals to be presided over. Together with four other pieces, this record is part of the ‘Prioral Guides’ series (seventeenth–eighteenth centuries), which register the rules of conduct to be followed by the prior. As we should remember, the prior took this most prestigious office for one month. Indeed, it was held in rotation by each of the 12 presidents of the Monte di Pietà of Bologna, thus following the provisions of the statutes and decrees passed during the congregation’s various meetings over the course of time.

(Armando Antonelli)