(b. ca. 1290, Siena, d. 1348, Siena)

Allegory of Bad Government (detail)

Palazzo Pubblico, Siena

Ambrogio Lorenzetti frescoed the side walls of the Council Room (Sala dei Nove) of the City Hall (Palazzo Pubblico) of Siena. The size of the room is 2,96 x 7,70 x 14,40 m. The subject of the frescoes are the Good and Bad Government and their effects on the life of the cities and villages.

The Allegory of the Bad Goverment is situated on the wall opposite to Allegory of Good Government. At the centre of the dais sits Tyrannia, with the appearence of a demon, with horns and fangs. The figure of Tyranny has flowing woman's hair, a cloak with gold embroidery and precious stones, a gold cup in her hand and a goat, the traditional symbol of lust, at her feet. Below is the vanquised Justitia: the scales are broken and scattered around her on the ground. Around Tyranny's throne are gathered the Vices.