Ambrogio Lorenzetti (or Ambruogio Laurati) (c. 1290 – 9 June 1348) was an Italian painter of the Sienese school. He was active between approximately 1317 to 1348. His elder brother was the painter Pietro Lorenzetti.
Ambrogio Lorenzetti was highly influenced by both Byzantine art and classical art forms, and used these to create a unique and individualistic style of painting. His work was exceptionally original. Individuality at this time was unusual due to the influence of patronage on art. Because paintings were often commissioned, individualism in art was infrequently seen. It is known that Lorenzetti engaged in artistic pursuits that were thought to have their origins during the Renaissance, such as experimenting with perspective and physiognomy, and studying classical antiquity. His body of work clearly shows the innovativeness that subsequent artists chose to emulate.
His work shows the influence of Simone Martini, although more naturalistic. The earliest dated work of the Sienese painter is a Madonna and Child (1319, Museo Diocesano, San Casciano). His presence was documented in Florence up until 1321. He would return there after spending a number of years in Siena.
The frescoes on the walls of the Room of the Nine (Sala dei Nove) or Room of Peace (Sala della Pace) in the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena are one of the masterworks of early renaissance secular painting. The "nine" was the oligarchal assembly of guild and monetary interests that governed the republic. Three walls are painted with frescoes consisting of a large assembly of allegorical figures of virtues in the Allegory of Good Government. In the other two facing panels, Ambrogio weaves panoramic visions of Effects of Good Government on Town and Country, and Allegory of Bad Government and its Effects on Town and Country (also called "Ill-governed Town and Country"). The better preserved "well-governed town and country" is an unrivaled pictorial encyclopedia of incidents in a peaceful medieval "borgo" and countryside.
The first evidence of the existence of the hourglass can be found in the fresco, Allegory of Bad Government and Its Effects on Town and Country.
Like his brother, he is believed to have died of bubonic plague in 1348. Giorgio Vasari includes a biography of Lorenzetti in his Lives.
Charles Hermans (b Brussels, 17 Aug 1839; d Menton, 7 Dec 1924) was a Belgian painter. He came from a bourgeois family who encouraged him in his artistic ambitions. He studied with Louis Gallait in Brussels before attending Atelier Saint-Luc, a free studio in Brussels for artists who opposed traditional academic teaching. Between 1858 and 1861 he was in Paris where he studied with Charles Gleyre and also at the Ecole Centrale des Beaux-Arts. He spent 1862-6 in Italy where he developed a particular interest in the lives of monks: they provided subjects for several paintings, such as Monks Playing Bowls, and his treatment of them reveals him as a shrewd observer.