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(c.1290 – c.1348)
was probably the younger brother of Pietro Lorenzetti
and certainly came from the same artistic background. Ambrogio, who is
documented as living in Siena from 1319 to 1347, paid at least two lengthy
visits to Florence. This may explain his detailed knowledge not just of
the painting of Giotto, but also
that of his Florentine successors. It may explain, too, the influence of
Sienese art upon Florence, and particularly upon the genre of the small-scale
devotional picture. In the thoroughness with which he established space
and depth, he was the most modern master of the 14th century. Noteworthy,
as in the case of his brother, is his faithful observation of nature, and
even more so the assurance and lightness with which he portrays movement
and life, rhythm and emotion. While the mood in Pietro’s painting tend
towards somberness, Ambrogio creates a more cheerful, more relaxed, richer
atmosphere. His best known work is allegorical frescoes in the Palazzo
Publico at Siena (1337-39), symbolizing the effects of good and bad government.
They depict scenes from everyday life, crammed with incidents and yet newly
naturalistic in his treatment of architecture. Alongside these, there are
also lesser but nonetheless charming works such as the Madonna
of the Milk.
The Lorenzetti brothers both died in the great plague of 1348, which carried
off half the population of Siena.
Ambrogio Lorenzetti. by G. Rompey. Princeton. 1958.
Painting of Europe. XIII-XX centuries. Encyclopedic Dictionary.
Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1999.
Lorenzetti: The Palazzo Pubblico, Siena by Randolph Starn.
George Braziller, 1994.