"Effects of Bad Government" by Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Part of of the “Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government” (1338) fresco cycle by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the Room of the Nine in Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, Italy, the “Effects of Bad Government” depicts Tyranny overtaking the city-state and its subsequent effects. Tyranny, working with the allegorical figures of Cruelty, Treason, Fraud, Fury, Division, and War have literally bound the figure of Justice, who is personified as a woman tied up at the feet of Tyranny. The city next to the allegory of Bad Government is in ruin, with crumbling buildings and social anarchy. The purpose of the fresco was to remind the rulers of 14th-century Siena that they should use their power wisely or face dire consequences.


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