Lorenzo or Lorenzetto, Ambrogio and Pietro Di
Lorenzo Or Lorenzetto, Ambrogio And Pietro Di, two celebrated Italian painters of the 14th century, were born at Siena about 1300. They were brothers, as we learn from an inscription which was attached to their pictures of the "Presentation" and of the "Marriage of the Virgin," destroyed in 1720. The principal of their works, which was painted in the Minorite convent at Siena, and represented the fatal adventures of some missionary monks, has been destroyed. In the first compartment a youth was represented putting on the monastic costume, in another, the same youth was represented with several of his brother monks about to set out for Asia, to convert the Mohammedans in a third, these missionaries are already at their place of destination, and are being chastised in the sultan's presence, and are surrounded and mocked by a crowd of scoffing infidels; the sultan judges them to be hanged; in a fourth the young monk is already hanged to a tree, yet he notwithstanding continues to preach the Gospel to the astonished multitude, upon which the sultan orders their heads to be cut off; the next compartment is their ceremonious execution by the sword, and the scaffold is surrounded by a great crowd on foot and on horseback; after the execution follows a great storm, which is represented in all the detail of wind, hail, lightning, and earthquake, from all of which the crowd are protecting themselves as they best can, and this miracle, as it was considered, is the cause of many conversions to Christianity. Of the several pictures by Ambrogio mentioned by Ghiberti only one remains, the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, in the Scuole Regie. Of works by Pietro Lorenzo there is only one authenticated work; it is in the Stanza del Pilone, a room against the sacristy of the cathedral of Siena, and represents, according to Rumohr, some passages from the life of John the Baptist, his birth, etc. Vasari mentions many works by Pietro in various cities of Tuscany, and attributes to him a picture of the early fathers and hermits in the Campo Santo at Pisa. In 1355 Pietro was invited to Arezzo to paint the cathedral, in which he painted in fresco twelve stories from the life of the Virgin, with figures as large as life and larger, but they have long since perished; they were, however, in good preservation in the time of Vasari, who completely restored them. He speaks of parts of them as superior in style and vigor to anything that had been done up to that time. — English Cyclop. s.v. See also Vasari, Vite de Pittori, etc.; Della Valle, Lettere Sanesi; Lanzi, Storia Pittorica, etc.; and especially Rumohr, Italienische Forschungen, in which the two Lorenzetti are treated of at considerable length.