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“School Of Athens” By Raphael Essay

1020 words - 5 pages

Raphael (Sanzio, Raffaello) born in Urbino on March 28, or April 6 1483 and died in Rome on April 6 1520). He was the son of Giovanni Santi, a competent painter attached to the Montefeltro court in Urbino. Giovanni was esteemed by the court as a poet, chronicler, and deviser of masques as well as a painter. Although Raphael was only 11 when his father died, it is significant that he spent his first years near a court, for he was to become a court artist himself. In early years, he enjoy the patronage of Elisabetta Gonzaga, the Duchess of Urbino, and of the Duke's sister-in-law Giovanni della Rovere, known as the Prefetessa. It was the Prefetessa who on October 1st 1504 supplied Raphael with ...view middle of the document...

Of the suite's several rooms (stanze), Raphael painted the Stanza della Segnatura (Room of the Signature- the papal library) and the Stanza d'Eliodoro ( Room of Heliodorus). His pupils completed the others, following his sketches. On the four walls of the Stanza della Segnatura, under the headings of Theology (called Disputa), Law natura (Justice), Poetry (Parnassus), and Philosophy (School of Athens), Raphael presented images that symbolize and sum up Western learning as Renaissance society understood it. The frescoes refer to the four branches of human knowledge and wisdom while pointing out the virtues and the learning appropriate to a pope. Given Julius II's desire for recognition as both a spiritual and temporal leader, it is appropriate that the Theology and the Philosophy frescoes face each other. The two images present a balanced picture of the pope- as a cultured, knowledgeable individual, on the one hand, and as a wise, divinely ordained religious authority, on the other hand. In Rome, Raphael came to run a large workshop. He also diversified, working as an architect and designer of prints.On one wall in Raphael's Philosophy mural, the so-called School of Athens, the setting is not a "school", but a congregation of the great philosopher and scientists of the ancient world. Plato and Aristotle serve as the central figures around whom Raphael carefully arranged the others. Plato holds his book Timaeus and points to Heaven, the source of his inspiration, while Aristotle carries his book Nichomachean Ethics and gestures toward the earth, from which his observations of reality sprang. Appropriately, ancient philosophers, men concerned with the ultimate mysteries that transcend this world, stand on Plato's side. On Aristotle's side are the philosophers and scientists concerned with nature and human affairs. At the lower left, Pythagoras writes as a servant holds up the harmonic scale. In the foreground, Heraclitus broods alone. Diogenes sprawls...

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