Yesterday, (February 12th) I looked at one of three frescoes painted on a wall of the Sala della Pace in the Palazzo Palace, Siena by the Italian artist Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Yesterday’s fresco was on the end wall of the room opposite the windows (shown on the left of the picture above). Today, My Daily Art Display looks at the long fresco on one of the side walls of the room. This fresco is entitled Effect of Good Government on City and Country Life (shown on the right hand side of the picture above).
The Effect of the Good Government on City and Country Life fresco was painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and is situated on the longer wall (14.4m long) of the room. The picture above shows the left hand side of the very long fresco depicting the city. This panoramic fresco represents several scenes indicating the life of Siena and its environment in the 14th century. It depicts life under a good government. The fresco illustrates the centre of the city with all its beautiful buildings, undifferentiated architecturally, which establishes justice and the equality of the citizens. There is a school for the children of the city as well as shops for the city’s traders and merchants who can be seen busily at work. In the background, one can see men working hard on roofs of buildings. Everybody is busying themselves to keep the city running smoothly. In the middle foreground the dancing young women probably represent the nine Muses symbolising beauty and justice.
The picture above shows the right hand side of the long fresco depicting the countryside outside the city walls, where Lorenzetti has painted farm workers in the fields, harvesting the crops as well as an abundance of livestock, illustrating that food was plentiful in this well governed city.
Hovering above the city walls is the personification of Security, holding a small gallows in one hand and a scroll in the other. The text on the scroll promises safety to all who live under the rule of law and the gallows acts as a reminder to those who do not obey the rule of law.
Tomorrow I will talk a little about the third fresco in the Sala della Pace, Bad Government and the Effects of Bad Government on City and Country Life.