Monday

The School of Athens (Painting by Raphael) 1510-1511


Important Facts:
  • "The School of Athens" ("Scuola di Atene" in Italian).
  • Very famous painting by the Italian artist Raphael from the Renaissance.
  • The fresco was painted between 1510-1511.
  • It was part of Raphael's commission to paint frescoes in the Stanze di Raffaello rooms, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace.
  • Considered as "Raphael's masterpiece and the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the High Renaissance."
The figures in the painting:
  • Some of the philosophers in the picture are clear, such as Plato & Aristotle.
  • There is some disagreement about many of the figures, including possible double portayals in the painting.
  • Raphael did not leave any contemporary documents to explain the fresco, nor make any designations outside possible likenesses.
  • In the center of the fresco are the 2 undisputed main subjects (14 & 15).
    • Plato (left) & Aristotle his student (right).
    • Both Plato & Aristotle hold copies of their books in their left hands.
    • Plato holds Timaeus and Aristotle holds his Nicomachean Ethics.
  • The figures are shown in more detail below.


Postulated identities of the figures:
(bracketed names are contemporary characters whom Raphael may have drawn likenesses)
  • 1: Zeno of Citium
  • 2: Epicurus
  • 3: Federico II of Mantua?
  • 4: Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius or Anaximander or Empedocles?
  • 5: Averroes
  • 6: Pythagoras
  • 7: Alcibiades or Alexander the Great?
  • 8: Antisthenes or Xenophon?
  • 9: Hypatia (from Francesco Maria della Rovere or Raphael's mistress Margherita)
  • 10: Aeschines or Xenophon?
  • 11: Parmenides?
  • 12: Socrates
  • 13: Heraclitus (from Michelangelo)
  • 14: Plato holding the Timaeus (from Leonardo da Vinci)
  • 15: Aristotle holding the Ethics
  • 16: Diogenes of Sinope?
  • 17: Plotinus?
  • 18: Euclid or Archimedes with students (from Bramante)?
  • 19: Strabo or Zoroaster? (from Baldassare Castiglione or Pietro Bembo)
  • 20: Ptolemy? R: Apelles (from Raphael)
  • 21: Protogenes (from Il Sodoma, Perugino or Timoteo Viti)
Credits - Wikipedia & painting images in Public Domain

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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