Support for the figure being Diogenes rather than Socrates has been found in the fact that he is prone, and alone, which seems to suggest Diogenes' status as an antisocial Cynic -- he also called himself a 'dog.' However, the painting seems to depict in chronological order in the development of ancient philosophy, of the viewer moves his or her gaze from foreground to background and from left to right. This would suggest that the figure is Socrates. The bowl besides the lying figure if it is Socrates could symbolically signify his drinking of hemlock also suggests the death of Christ. Raphael, a Neo-Platonist in his philosophy, thus gave particular importance to Socrates' martyrdom (Bell 1995).
The artwork, as a glorification of the human, is sublimely Renaissance in nature, and typical of the period but it is also unique in the way that it celebrates philosophers and their intellectual arts, not simply symbolic figures of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses or abstract values. It shows Raphael's willingness to honor the intellectual legacy of the classical past. The male figures even when they engage with people whom they could not have known in life, look like vibrant and real figures, negotiating what it means to be human and what it means to understand the world. The image is exciting, and makes learning and human inquiry a worthy subject of art, equally as much as beauty. Its title, the School of Athens, and its panoramic gaze on many eras suggest that this type of searching has occurred over a long period of time. Athens itself was a school of knowledge, and the classical world has much to teach us. The painting's attitude is what is innovative, as well as its detail and depth of perspective.
Underlining the new broad-mindedness of the period, classical iconography representing the search of man for the truth was even embraced by the Pope, not just by artists. This type of humanistic,...
It is still exciting art because it creates the feeling of being alive in ancient Athens, watching the embodied philosophers at work, and helps bring their thoughts to life. They are not beautiful, yet seem vividly alive and interesting to the eye. The challenging, puzzle-like nature of playing 'guess who' are the different philosophers adds to the visual delight of the painting. The painting is an intellectual puzzle as well as is about men who enjoyed wrestling with intellectual puzzles.
If an artist were to create such a work today, what type of representation would be created? Would it be a crowd of celebrities, like a Vanity Fair style magazine cover, or a representation of all of the American presidents interacting, across time and space? Raphael created his work when it was still considered possible to know 'everything' of value of the classical world and today knowledge is much more specialized -- there are fewer great and titanic figures. The closest thing the School of Athens in contemporary art is perhaps Judy Chicago's the Dinner Party, which is a feminist piece of sculpture bringing together famous women of history. In general, a painted depiction of great people would likely contain more women, and perhaps more controversial figures (Freud, Darwin, and Marx come to mind). But idealization has gone out of fashion, and that is why, although it still gives contemporary viewers pleasure, the type of painting genre in the spirit of the School of Athens has not been replicated.
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Joost-Gaugier, Christiane L. "Ptolemy and Strabo and their conversation with Appelles and Protogenes: Cosmography and painting in Raphael's School of Athens." Renaissance
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Most, Glenn W. "Reading Raphael: The School of Athens and its pre-text." Critical Inquiry
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" Bell's article underlines the thinking behind Raphael's masterpiece. It is not simply an imagined portrait of famous people; rather it is a philosophical treatise, in symbolic form, of what it meant to be a great man, as embodied in these different figures. Glenn Most, in his 1996 article "The School of Athens and its Pre-text" from Critical Inquiry agrees that the central question of the School of Athens is "How
Beginning with the major arch of the Stanze that frames the entire piece, there recedes a series of concentric circles that focus down to the archway that frames the two central figures. This can be seen as a nearly literal rippling effect of the wisdom of these two great thinkers off into space, and into the mind of the viewer. Working from largest to smallest, we can see that
Raphael / Michelangelo / Donatello Raphael's School of Athens is considered a high point of humanism. We can understand this by considering some basic facts about the work: it is a fresco painting done on a wall in the Vatican, arguably the center of Christianity in the world, and yet it depicts a large number of figures, the vast majority of whom had never even heard the name "Jesus Christ." This
School of Athens is the most well-known of the frescoes painted by Raphael, an Italian Renaissance artist. Painted in two years from 1509-1511, Raphael painted the fresco as a commission where he had to decorate the Stanze di Raffaello rooms in the Apostolic Palace located in the Vatican. The fresco is meant to represent Philosophy and was finished after La Disputa, which represented theology on the opposite side. School
Art History Raphael's Career Raphael is one of the most renowned artists in modern human history. He is so famous that he is one of a small number of artists that they are only known by one name. His full name is Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino. His precise birthdate is contended, but it is agreed that he was born sometime in the spring during 1483, as the 15th century, as well as
We can consider 'The School of Athens' as a 'visualization of knowledge.'" in addition to Plato and Aristotle, Euclid and Pythagoras are present among others. Lahanas even suggests that the painting may be a reproduction of Plato's Academy. This concept would emphasize a commitment to learning, as well as an interest in antiquity and classical learning. The architecture depicted is a "modification of Bramante's first design for St. Peter