Social and Political Environment of Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Sejae Burey

Debbie Graham

Interdisciplinary Arts HU 2301-Online

Victory University

Week Three


Social and Political Environment of Ambrogio Lorenzetti

            Ambrogio Lorenzetti was an Italian painter and student of Duccio. He was a painter of the Sienese school, being active from 1319-1348. Lorenzetti lived and painted at a time when Italian vernacular literature was being developed. There were also changes in intellectual and cultural life at the time. In addition to the many social changes, the political atmosphere was also very influential. The Italian cities faced turbulent politics that saw violent party struggles, overthrowing and reinstating of governments.

            The environment influenced Lorenzetti’s series of frescoes, The Allegory of Good and Bad Government, which were done in Gothic Style in the Sala dei Nove in Palazzo Pubblico of Siena, Italy. The frescoes, promoted morality of government and constantly served to encourage against tyranny, corruption and promote virtuous governing. Allegory of Good Government carries a strong social message of the value of the stable republican government of Siena. Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government highlights political creed of government. It depicts effects of good government where prosperity, trade, happiness and agricultural gain prevail. While Allegory of Bad Government is characterized by crime, disease and drought. Bad Government and the Bad Effects of Bad Government on the City Life depict tyranny, and cardinal values are replaced by personifications of avarice, pride and vainglory while vices such as cruelty, treason, fraud and others are evident as well. Effects of Bad Government on Countryside depicts death and destruction.

            Lorenzetti’s themes relate to the current social and political situations. This highlights the depth at which he was influenced by his environment in those respects.


Works Cited


Art in Tuscany. n.d. September 2013. <;.

Kleiner, Fred S. Gardener’s Art through the Ages:A Concise Western History third edition. Boston: Wadsworth, 2014. Print.



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