Artibus et Historiae no. 73 (XXXVII)

2016, ISSN 0391-9064

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HANNEKE VAN ASPEREN - The Virgin and the Virtues. Charity in Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Representation of Good Government (pp. 55-70)

Before Ambrogio Lorenzetti painted Il Buon Governo in the municipal palace of Siena the divine virtues had never before been included in depictions of rulers. Furthermore, he made Charity most important. She surmounts all the other virtues surrounding the personification of Siena. Lorenzetti painted an allegory in which charity is regarded as the motivation for people to subordinate themselves to the common good and act accordingly. The Virgin functioned as catalyst. She was considered to be the governor of Siena since the Battle of Montaperti. The divine virtues, characteristic of the Virgin, should be the most important features of Siena’s governors in order for Siena to become a reflection of the heavenly Jerusalem.

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