The Sala dei Nove or Sala della Pace holds the most famous of these works: Allegoria ed Effetti del Buono e Cattivo Governo (The Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government). Given what is happening today in Canada it was with a certain sense of irony that I found myself taking in these great pieces of Medieval works of art over the weekend. Today is Election Day in Canada, a fact that has been understandable overshadowed by larger events in the world; today Canadians go to the polls for the third time in five years. And for the past few weeks they have been listening to politicians mouth promises, threats and policies of government - perhaps good perhaps bad.
Voter turnout in the past two elections has shown a marked disinterest in the process of election in Canada - in fact sadly there is more interest shown in the United States elections than our own and events of the past few years have shown that as a people we are largely ignorant of our own process. Perhaps it would be fitting for a modern artist to take a cue from Lorenzetti and give us a work of art showing the effects of good and bad government on our country.
|The Allegory of Good Government - a left click will enlarge the photo.|
|The Effects of Good Government in the City - again a left click will enlarge the picture.|
|The Effects of Good Government in the Countryside - again that left click will do the trick.|
|The Effects of Bad Government - left click once again.|
These 700 year old frescoes can simply be thought of as political propaganda of their age - an effort by the "Nine" to assure the Sienese that what they were being offered by their governors was the way to prosperity and a good life; a bit like the campaign promises that have been peppered on the Canadian voters from all sides in the past few weeks.
Or it could be seen as a timeless warning to politicians everywhere - or perhaps given what I've seen in the past few years in Canada a timely message to my country's elected parliament? Sadly it would appear that it is a lesson too many politicians, regardless of party or ideology, have yet to learn. Perhaps they should have been forced to look at and come to terms with Lorenzetti's powerful statement of what we expect, but so seldom, get from our elected parliament.
02 maggio - Sant'Atanasio di Alessandria