The Republic of Siena was one of the most powerful of the 14th-century Italian city-statesan urban hub filled with bankers and merchants with many international contacts.
However the real significance of The Allegory of Good and Bad Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti is that these frescos are probably the first landscape and the first townscape paintings ever completed.
I could have spent a very long time in in the Hall of the Nine also known as Sala della Pace. I came away with a very long scroll which shows the frescos in their Ambrogio lorenzetti peaceful city.
You can get a sense of its size in this photograph which shows most of the good government side. The paintings were created as a symbolic way of the government of Siena impressing on local people what was needed. This at a time when famine and pestilence were not uncommon features of everyday life in the dark ages.
The idea was that the business of government should be left top the nine merchants who were responsible for commissioning it - and who met in the room in which it is now situated.
In essence under good government Siena prosperred and under bad government it disintegrates. The principles which were symbolised in the frescos were those which meant Siena had enjoyed some 70 years of good government.
This is an extended extract from an excellent lecture by Dr.
Richard Ingersoll, Rice University which is the best explanation of the painting which I can find on the Internet. In the meeting chamber of the Noveschi, the Sala della Pace, is one of the great documents of the political ideology of a medieval citystate, part inscription and part painting, known as the cycle of Good and Bad Government.
The frescoes were painted in by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, who was evidently a member of the group of the ruling class and known, aside from his skill as an artist, for his wide knowledge of political theory. It is an extraordinary painting, quite unlike anything that came before or after it: Using pre- perspectival spatial recession, Lorenzetti creates a marvelously unified view of the city and the country.
The painting is a manifesto, and like all propaganda was intended as a reinforcing vision to those who were already convinced-- a lesson for the members of the Nine, who rotate every two months, reminding them of their values and goals.
You were meant to view it from left to right, from the Bad city to the good city. The wall devoted to the Bad city is a reminder of the "Landscape of Fear" mentioned earlier from which society had emerged. It is inhabited by monsters, commonly reported in the harder times before the year Flying above the city gate is a ragged harpy figure labeled "Timor", or Fear, who brandishes a sword and carries a sign reading "Because each seeks only his own good, in this city, Justice is subjected to Tyranny; wherefore along this road nobody passes without fearing for his life, since there are robberies outside and inside the city gates.
The gate to the city is also blocked by soldiers and inside the city is a mess, buildings are being torn apart, people are fighting, women are being raped. Next to the scene of the Bad city are the allegories of bad government with the horned figure of Tyranny in the center and with Justice bond at his or her feet.
On the next wall is the allegorical chart of Good Government where the figure of Justice as a fulcrum for the scales, is balanced with the crowned figure of il Buon Comun the common good ; they are linked by a rope, which passes by a figure named Concord a pun for "with the rope" and 24 well-fed figures holding on to the rope in solidarity.
The figure of peace, lounging on armor occupies the center of the composition and has given her name to the room. The appeal to justice is everywhere: Quite literally common good has precedence over self-interest. The picture makes clear that this is not a regime based on amnesty: Finally there is the portrait of the Good city, an idealization of Siena that showed it not in realistic detail but in rhetorical detail.
Inside the walls of the city, which has only a few identifiable details that make it Siena, like the campanile of the Duomo and the figure of the she-wolf over the gate.Ambrogio Lorenzetti (or Ambruogio Laurati) (c. – 9 June ) was an Italian painter of the Sienese initiativeblog.com was active from approximately to He painted The Allegory of Good and Bad Government in the Sala dei Nove (Salon of Nine or Council Room) in Siena's Palazzo initiativeblog.com elder brother was the painter Pietro Lorenzetti.
Frescoes of the Good and Bad Government by Ambrogio LORENZETTI Ambrogio Lorenzetti's most revolutionary achievement - one of the most remarkable accomplishments of the Renaissance - is the fresco series that lines three walls of the room in the Palazzo Pubblico where Siena's chief magistrates, the Nine, held their .
A time line from before writing began to the present, linked to Andrew Roberts' book Social Science History and to other resources.
Ambrogio Lorenzetti frescoed the side walls of the Council Room (Sala dei Nove) of the City Hall, the Palazzo Pubblico, of Siena. The subject of the frescoes are the Good and Bad Government and their effects on the life of the cities and villages. Discover the genius of Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
In this marvelous 3 month exhibition spread across Siena, you'll get to discover the genius and beauty of the creations of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, an up to now largely unknown 14th century artist. Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Bad Government and the Effects of Bad Government on the City Life (detail), fresco in the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena The court of bad justice is governed by a devil holding a poison cup.