Lorenzetti Brothers

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lorenzetti Brothers


Italian painters, representatives of the Sienese school of the 14th century.

Pietro Lorenzetti. Born circa 1280 in Siena; died there in 1348 (?).

P. Lorenzetti first drew on the traditions of Duccio di Buoninsegna, which he proceeded to modify under the influence of Giotto and Giovanni Pisano. Seeking to convey greater corporeality and monumentality, he often used architectural motifs and well-developed spatial construction (for example, the polyptych in Santa Maria della Pieve, Arezzo, 1320; the altarpiece History of the Carmelite Order, National Pinacoteca, Siena, 1329; the triptych Nativity of the Virgin, Cathedral Museum, Siena, 1342). Lorenzetti’s frescoes in the lower church of San Francesco in Assisi (1325-29 and after 1340) are marked by a tragic fervor; there is a somewhat Giottesque generalization of form, yet two-dimensional composition is preserved.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Died in 1348 (?) in Siena.

A. Lorenzetti was closely tied to the art of Florence, where he worked intermittently between 1320 and 1330. He studied antique sculpture and was interested in the problems of perspective (Annunciation, 1344, National Pinacoteca, Siena). His principal work, the series of frescoes Good and Bad Government in the Palazzo Publico in Siena (1337-39), is based on a complicated allegorical concept that integrates images marked by a strict didacticism with accurate representations of urban life and of majestic landscapes.


Sinibaldi, G. I Lorenzetti. Siena, 1933.
Rowley, G. Ambrogio Lorenzetti, vols. 1-2. Princeton, N. J., 1958.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
His chosen field is defined by a century that revolves around the pictorial genius of Giotto whose works stand centre stage here alongside those of his Sienese rivals, the Lorenzetti brothers. The freighted period terms of 'medieval' and 'Renaissance' are consciously avoided, although the reader will soon deduce that the author's sympathies lie firmly with the former.
Although he was among the most successful painters in late Trecento Siena, Bartolo di Fredi does not dominate the discussion of Sienese painting in the same way that artists like Duccio, Simone Martini, and the Lorenzetti brothers do.
The age of Giotto, Duccio, and the Lorenzetti brothers was also the age of fashion, particularly for men (consider the well-dressed figures in Ambrogio Lorenzetti's Allegory of Good Government fresco in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena).
If anything, his painting manifested the vitality and assimilative possibilities of a Tuscan tradition extending back to Giotto and the Lorenzetti brothers. For example, his early reinterpretations of the Annunciation as a single-panel altarpiece (Madrid and Cortona), where painted architecture both proposed and transgressed the traditional divisions of a triptych, were further developments of the Lorenzetti experiments in the fourteenth century.
The mid-fourteenth century has been characterised as an artistic watershed for Siena, with the deaths of the Lorenzetti brothers in 1348 and the departure of Simone Martini for France in 1340 leaving a creative vacuum.
4: 'The Lorenzetti brothers had been innovators in pictorial perspective and illusionism, while Simone Martini had provided the model that was to become the International Gothic style') Without denying the spatial ambition of many of the Lorenzetti's compositions, I would argue that Simone's achievements in this regard have been undervalued, partly as a result of misattributions The questionable ascription to him of the Guidoriccio itself has helped foster this general perception (see also n.