L’angoscia delle repubbliche. Il

Autore: Andrea Zorzi
In: I libri di Viella. 128

The essay makes clear the emergence of a widespread emotion – "timor," the anguished feeling of a profound and frightening change in the times – in some Tuscan cities in the second half of the 1330s. An original interpretation is offered of three well-known "monuments" – the Florentine chronicle by Giovanni Villani, the frescoes by Buonamico Buffalmacco in the monumental cemetery in Pisa, and those by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena – which, in the peculiarity of their respective cultural contexts, reveal the shared sense of turmoil that rocked the urban societies of those years. The natural catastrophes, economic crisis, constant state of war, fleeting nature of worldly power, and rise of "tyrannical regimes" were suddenly perceived by contemporaries as a sharp break compared with earlier generations. The "sweet life" depicted by Lorenzetti in the well-governed city, the well-being and power celebrated by Giovanni Villani, and the courtly amusements illustrated by Buffalmacco reflect a common language of anxiety, a sensation of unease and gloom in the face of dangers felt as real or potential.