School Of Athens Essay, Research Paper
School of Athens
Raphael s school of Athens is located in the Vatican, Rome. This fresco was painted along with three other frescos in the papal apartments. When Raphael went to Rome in 1508 he was commissioned to work for Pope Julius II. He was to paint the four branches of knowledge: Religion (the Disputa), Philosophy (the School of Athens), Poetry (Parnassus, home of the Muses), and Law (the Cardinal Virtues under Justice). His most outstanding work in the papal apartments was the School of Athens. This seemed to summarize the ideals of the Renaissance.
This fresco portrays many great philosophers. Two of the greatest philosophers are portrayed in the center, Plato and Aristotle. They are accented by an arch that stands around them and by a blue sky through the arch. This part of the fresco attracts out attention, pointing out these great philosophers. In Plato s hand he holds his book Timaeus. Plato is pointing to the sky to signify the heavens as the source for philosophy. Aristotle is holding ethics in one and hand and the other is extended out signifying gathering knowledge from the earth. Around these two philosophers Raphael has the greatest thinkers of all time. These thinkers include Socrates, Euclid, and Pythagoras. These are not all of the great philosophers in the fresco but they are the most recognizable. Socrates is talking to Alcibiades, Xenophon, and Alexander. Euclid is inscribing in slate with a compass while giving a mathematical demonstration to his onlookers. Pythagoras is also giving a mathematical demonstration to his onlookers. Raphael added his himself in the fresco to make it seem that he belonged with the other great philosophers. Raphael also added the features of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci; these features were put onto Heraclitus (Michelangelo) and Plato (Leonardo da Vinci).
This work is an incredible piece that stands at 23.5 x 31.5 feet. Each character has a well-defined light source caste upon them. This makes the image more realistic. The tones are even and accent a lot of important aspects of the painting. Raphael s architecture in this fresco makes it seem as though you are standing there with the philosophers. With the highly detailed architecture it creates a feeling of depth and size. Everything in the painting is in proportion to its surroundings.
I feel that this is one of the greatest paintings of all time. It shows a lot of history with all the great philosophers and it is masterpiece of its time. This painting is a good example for the art of the renaissance.