Lorenzetti’s allegory of good and bad government

That’s great inspiration for my setting of SiT.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti: Allegory of good and bad government, paintings at the Council Room of the Nine, Palazzo Pubblico, City of Siena, Italy, 14th century.

tumblr_ktzkgw3cuk1qa1cnp
Securitas flying over the City.

Below: The City with a good government. Girls are dancing, traders are coming in, there’s plenty of shops: all is well .

maxresdefault

Below: The good government itself,  presided by Old Ben. You know Ben, don’t you? Ben Comune (Common Good). He holds two ropes (cordia) that links him to the 24 elected citizens (city council) and with Concordia (left, bottom, in grey) and Justicia (sitting on a throne above Concordia). Each side of Justicia, rewards and punishments are being distributed: gifts, crowning, decapitation, you know, usual judiciary stuff.

The trinity of angelic figures above Ben Comune are Faith, Hope and Charity. Besides him are six councilors. The slouched woman in a white gown is Peace (is she bored or something?). The others, in order, are Fortitude, Prudence, Magnanimity, Temperance and Justice (again).

Some guards watch prisoners, presumably from nobility (natural enemies of a Republic) that are prostrated and awaiting judgment.

lorenzetti-central-fresco

But don’t take nothing as granted. Horrible Timor (Fear) reminds us:

ob_1d14eb_loren1-jpg

Because everyone wants what’s good for themselves, in this City

Justice is subjugated to Tyranny.

And so no one can go

this way without fearing for his life,

since thievery is done both side of these walls. (1)

And so we get (Below): the City under a bad government (ironically, the painting is a lot more deteriorated!).

Thugs are molesting citizens: rapes (presumably) and murders are committed. The only shop opened is the armourer’s. Clever.

badeffect

Below: the bad government. Wouldn’t that be great if bad politicians would grow tusks and horns? No more pretending to be honest when you have those!

The leader this time is awful Tyrannia. Above Tyrannia is the Unholy Trinity: Superbia (Pride), Avaritia (Greed) and Vanagloria (Boastfulness?). The evil councillors are Crudelitas (Cruelty), Proditio (Treason), Fraus (Fraud), Furor (Anger), Divisio (Division) and Guerra (War). Damn them!

Oh, and Justitia is bound, helpless, at their feet.

allegory_of_bad_government_1338

  1. Traduction is mine, there must be a better one somewhere.

One thought on “Lorenzetti’s allegory of good and bad government

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s