Although the Este family had traditionally supported numerous monastic foundations, Borso d'Este's patronage of the Carthusian order is notable in that it introduced a new religious community into Ferrara. The history of the establishment, development, and decoration of the Charterhouse of Ferrara is indicative of the taste, artistic and religious views, and political exigencies which shaped the religious patronage of Borso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio. At the same time, the specific examples of Borso's monastic patronage are illustrative of the fundamental assumptions underlying fifteenth-century aristocratic support of religious foundations.
On April 23,1452, Borso d'Este laid the cornerstone for the Certosa on a site not far from the Este villa of Belfiore and the Dominican Monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli. By spring 1461, the Monastery was habitable, though not yet complete.