The 46-foot frescoed wall of The Well-Governed City - painted in Siena by Ambrogio Lorenzetti (1288-1348) - is a visionary microcosm whose imaginative scope has never been surpassed. But his preparations must have involved a great deal of architectural drawing, far more than most of our contemporary artists would stoop to. Ambrogio was heir to thirty years of Sienese experiment in the relation of architecture to figure: by his master, Duccio; his rival, Simone Martini; his brother, Pietro. Echoes of this great panorama would reverberate a hundred years later in Sassetta and Giovanni di Paolo and even in Brueghel, as well as in many late twentieth-century painters such as Kitaj and Bhupen Khakhar.
Timothy Hyman's most recent solo exhibition, The Man Inscribed with London, was at Austin/ Desmond last October. His monograph on Sienese Painting was published by Thames and Hudson in 2003.
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