The Allegory of Good Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti is one of the very few secular pieces of artwork from the 14th century Italy. It’s secular nature makes for a compelling analysis alone; however, it also reveals great political, cultural and social progressions of 14th century Siena. I argue that Lorenzetti’s Allegory of Good Government was a profound, and perhaps even revolutionary, piece considering the time and the subject matter of his fresco.
I will begin by providing a detailed description and analysis of the fresco in its entirety and an examination of Ambrogio’s artistic style used in the fresco. The Allegory of Good Government is located in Palazzo Pubblica in Siena and is one piece of a series frescoes depicting the good and bad government in the city and country of Siena. The foreground of the painting depicts the citizens of Siena and above them on a stage you can see figures that each represent aspects of good government. This fresco in particular is strategically placed on the wall that catches the most light in the Palazzo Pubblica personifying the concept of good government. It consists of three panels depicting modern Siena under good government in both urban and rural settings. I will elaborate on specific characters in the painting, as well as heavy symbolism that reflect justice, power, wisdom and features of good government.
Ambrogio employs a very naturalistic style to his work. The Allegory of Good Government is obviously set in Ambrogio’s modern Siena, portraying things as they were at the time conveying naturalism. Ambrogio had worked in Florence and was also a part of the Siena School of painters. Therefore, I will describe his influences from some of his fellow painters in the school, especially his brother Pietro. There is an overwhelming sense of space and movement throughout the fresco. The movement is evident throughout the piece portrayed particularly by the citizens who are depicted with a sense of gesture and...
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