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Sienese Followers of Duccio:

Ambrogio (d. 1348?) and Pietro Lorenzetti (c. 1290-1348?)

We noted that Simone Martini's Annunciation was painted for the Duomo in Siena as part of a series of major altarpieces focusing on the Virgin Mary. This project includes the work of the two Lorenzetti brothers: Ambrogio and Pietro.



 Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Presentation in the Temple, 1342.

 Pietro Lorenzetti, Birth of the Virgin , 1342.

Pay attention to the spatial complexity of these images.

Both artists did a number of images of the Madonna and Child. They are particularly noted for developing the half-length version of the subject matter:


 Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Madonna del Latte.

 Pietro Lorenzetti, Madonna and Child with Saints.

As devotional images see how the two brothers emphasize a more intimate relationship between the viewer and the image.

Pietro was commissioned in the 1320s and 1330s to do a series of frescoes focusing on the Passion of Christ for the Lower Church of San Francesco in Assisi. Among these is the following image of the Deposition::

Ambrogio Lorenzetti's most famouse project was a fresco cycle for the Sala del Nove in the Palazzo Publico in Siena: The Allegory of Good and Bad Government and the Effects of Good and Bad Government on the City and the Country (1338-39):



 Allegory of Good Government

Text within the lower border: This holy virtue [Justice], where she rules, induces to unity the many souls [of citizens], and they, gathered together for such a purpose, make the Common Good [ben comune] their Lord; and he, in order to govern his state, chooses never to turn his eyes from the resplendent faces of the Virtues who sit around him. Therefore to him in triumph are offered taxes, tributes, and lordship of towns; therefore, without war, every civic result duly follows --useful necessary, and pleasurable.

 Justice from the Allegory of Good Government (detail)



 Allegory of Bad Government

Text within lower border: There, where Justice is bound, no one is ever in accord for the Common Good [ben comun ], nor pulls the cord straight; therefore, it is fitting that Tyranny prevails. She, in order to carry out her iniquity, neither wills nor acts in disaccord with the filthy nature of the Vices, who are shown here conjoined with her. She banishes those who are ready to do good and calls around herself every evil schemer. She always protects the assailant, the robber, and those who hate peace, so that every land lies waste.

 Effects of Bad Government in the City

Text with the lower border: ...for the reason that, where there is Tyranny, there are great fear, wars, robberies, treacheries, and frauds, she must be brought down. And let the mind and understanding be intent on keeping each [citizen] always subject ot Justice, in order to escape such dark injuries, by overthrowing all tyrants. And whoever wishes to disturb her [Justice], let him be for his unworthiness banished and shunned together with all his followers, whoever they may be: thus Justice will be fortified to the advantage of your peace.



 Effects of Bad Government on the City

 Effects of Bad Government in the Country

Text held by Fear: 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.



 Effects of Good Government in the City

Text along lower edge: Turn your eyes to behold her, you who are governing, who is portrayed here [Justice], crowned on account of her excellence, who always renders to everyone his due. Look how many goods derive from her and how sweet and peaceful is that life of the city where is preserved this virtue who outshines any other. She quards and defends those who honor her, and nourishes and feeds them. From her light is borth [both] requiting those who do good and giving due punishment to the wicked.

 Effects of Good Government in the City (detail)


 Effects of Good Government in the Country.

Over the landscape hovers the figure of security who holds the following text: Without fear every many may travel freely and each may till and sow, so long as this commune shall maintain this lady [Justice] sovereign, for she has stripped the wicked of all power.


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