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Effects of Good Government in the countryside

Ambrogio Lorenzetti1338 - 1339

Fondazione Musei Senesi

Fondazione Musei Senesi

The Sala della Pace (“Peace Room”) is covered with frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti (1338-1339), commissioned by the council of the Nine and one of the most important secular cycles in the history of art, a true civil and political manifesto of Siena’s enlightened and ambitious government. The effects of good government are illustrated on the adjoining wall, which faces, and opposes, the Bad Government wall. Peasants enter with their mules laden with goods to sell, sacks of flour and wool, and hens, firewood, even a pig. A shepherd is walking out with his flock, and a party of well-dressed noblemen on horseback has already gone past the walls, headed for the open country for a picnic or to hunt. In the countryside, where the air is clear and the atmosphere serene and relaxed, people are working in the fields, planting, harvesting, tending the orderly vineyards next to the farmhouses. The view widens to sweep over the hills to the distant horizon, demonstrating the vastness of the possessions of the Republic of Siena, protected from above by a large winged figure, Securitas, under whose vigilant eye “every man” can walk “without fear.”

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  • Title: Effects of Good Government in the countryside
  • Date Created: 1338 - 1339
  • painter: Ambrogio Lorenzetti
  • collocation: Siena, Civic Museum and Mangia Tower, Province of Siena
  • Place Part Of: Province of Siena
  • Artist Biography: Ambrogio Lorenzetti, one of the protagonists of early fourteenth-century Sienese painting together with his brother Pietro, is responsible for a crucial development in Sienese art, moving from the tradition inherited from Duccio towards a Gothic style, incorporating the innovations in Florence introduced by Giotto and Arnolfo di Cambio. By now at the peak of his career, he was called to paint the frescoes of the Sala della Pace in Palazzo Pubblico, his undisputed masterpiece; this enterprise confirmed him as the leading artist in the city and the Sienese government’s ‘official painter.’ Like so much of the Sienese population, Ambrogio too seems to have fallen victim to the Black Plague of 1348.
  • Type: fresco
  • Rights: Comune di Siena; Fondazione Musei Senesi
  • External Link: Fondazione Musei Senesi

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