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Allegory of the Good Government

The image of the Good Government chosen as a frieze on the portal of the Council for Transparency and Good Governance is representative of its spirit.

Alegoría del Buen Gobierno · Lorenzetti

The images are presided over by the government, embodied by a wise old man, who along with other elements of the fresco, is placed on a higher level, representing the pre-eminence of the common good and general interests over individual interests.

The sceptre in his right hand represents justice and serves him as a support. At his side, surrounding him, are seated the attributes of the Good Government: concord, justice, peace, moderation, strength and prudence, which collectively form the Good Government.

The prominent icons, taken in order, represent the following:

Peace, a figure dressed in white, crowned with olive shoots, reclining placidly on the remains of a suit of armour symbolising war and discord.

 

La justiciaJustice, with open arms symbolising the scales, balancing the reward of good acts with the punishment of bad acts.

 

The representation of the people, who live in harmony and happiness, and the idea of community reflected in the circle of people holding one another's hands.

 

The city, progressing under the good government with a flourishing economy represented by the working artisans and the workers constructing and extending the city.

 

This fresco, which dates back more than 700 years, already provided a secular vision of the good government.

It is found in the Palazzo Pubblico (town hall) of Siena, in Italy, and represents one of the most important profane works of the Medieval era.