Saturday, October 26, 2013

Allegory of Bad Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Allegory of Bad Government painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti from around February 26, 1338 to May 29, 1339.

Lorenzetti’s The Effects of Bad Government fresco. When the viewer examines this mural, we are confronted with a figure adorned with horns and fangs, and appearing to be cross-eyed. This figure is identified as TYRAMMIDES or Tyranny. He sits enthroned, resting his feet upon a goat, symbolic of luxury, and in his hand he holds a dagger.

Below the tyrant the captive figure of Justice lays bound, while the figures of Cruelty, Deceit, Fraud, Fury, Division, and War flank him, and above him float the figures of Avarice, Pride, and Vainglory. These figures, according to an advice book for city magistrates of the time, were considered to be the “leading enemies of human life”.

The planets of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars preside over this scene, as they were the less favorable planets; also included are tyrannical figures such as the Roman Emperor Nero. When we look at the scene of the city its self, it appears to be very jarring; nothing fits as it should be. This is in part to the fact that Lorenzetti presented the scene in such a manner that the viewer must read it right to left, creating a sense of discomfort. When we look at the scene, we see that the city is in ruin, windows are wide open, houses are being demolished, and businesses are nonexistent, except that of the armourer. The streets are deserted, and the country side shows two armies advancing towards each other.

Allegory of Bad Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti

This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because it's copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF. Works published before 1923 in this case cFebruary 26, 1338 to May 29, 1339, are now in the public domain.

This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less. In this case Ambruogio Laurati) (c. 1290 – June 9, 1348) This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.

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