raphael’s the school of athens contains:
This fresco – a masterpiece of disegno – represents natural Truth, acquired through reason. Under the arched vault of an immense Basilica with lacunar ceiling and pilasters, (inspired by Constantine’s in the Roman Forum), decorated with statues of Apollo and Minerva, a crowd of philosophers and wise men of the past, along with High Renaissance artists and patrons, argue heatedly among themselves or mediate in silence. The extraordinarily deep linear perspective creates an incredible illusion of depth. In the centre we see Plato (long white beard and the features of Leonardo da Vinci), text of the Timaeus in hand, the other hand pointing to heaven, the “seat of all ideas”. At his side is Aristotle, in turn holding his Ethics and pointing to the earth. The two philosophers and their gesturing make a point which is the core of the philosophy of Marsilio Ficino: Aristotle’s gesture symbolizes the positive spirit; the vertical gesture of Plato alludes to a superior quality, the contemplation of ideas.
Further to the right, calmly reclining on the stairs, is Diogenes, the oject of the remonstrations by the disciples of the Academy. In the foreground, to the right of Aristotle, Raphael placed the High Renaissance architect Donato Bramante (1444-1514) in the person of Euclid, who is pictured bending over a table and demonstrating a theorem with the aid of a compass. Bramante, the architectural adviser to Julius II, and a distant relative of Raphael’s from Urbino, was responsible for Raphael’s summons to Rome, and the younger man reciprocates by signing his name in the gold border of Bramante’s tunic. Over to the right, identified by the crown he wears, is the geographer Ptolemy, holding the globe of the earth. Facing him is the atronomer Zoroaster, holding the globe of the sky. The young man at their side and facing the viewer is supposedly Raphael himself in the company of Sodoma (white robe), the artist who preceded Raphael in the decoration of the ceiling of the Signature room.
Diogenes of Sinope (412-323 BC), a cynic philosopher, a student of Antisthenes, who lived in Corinth. His father Icesias was a banker. With his вЂњbeggarвЂќ cup, lying deep in thought on the steps; this is a finely conceived figure which deserves high praise for its beauty and the appropriate negligence of its clothing. Diogenes is seen alone, set apart: [. ] a cynic in his expression, in his bearing, in his attitude. What is he reading? Diogenes, a philosopher, lived in a big barrel, instead of the traditional house. He spent his nights wandering from house to house with a lantern, knocking on peoples’ doors to find out if there was “an honest human inside.” With his audacious intrusion in peoples’ private affairs, he meant to show them that no honest person could be found anywhere in his city. When Alexander the Great went to meet him, he found him sitting in front of his barrel, facing the sun. As a great admirer of Diogenes, Alexander then asked him if there is anything he could give him, which today might be equivalent to being asked whether you would like to win the lottery. Diogenes thought for a while, and then asked politely if the Great King could simply. step aside, because by standing over him with his horse, he was hiding the sun from his face! This answer so impressed Alexander, that he exclaimed that if he were not Alexander, he would have liked to be Diogenes!
Study on the ” School of Athens ”
Mirroring Pythagoras’ position on the other side, Euclid is bent over demonstrating something with a compass. His young students eagerly try to grasp the lessons he’s teaching them. The Greek mathematician is known as the father of geometry, and his love of concrete theorems with exact answers demonstrates why he represents Aristotle’s side of The School of Athens. Experts believe that Euclid is a portrait of Raphael’s friend Bramante.
The School of Athens was the third painting Raphael completed after Disputa (representing theology) and Parnassus (representing literature). It’s positioned facing Disputa and symbolizes philosophy, setting up a contrast between religious and lay beliefs.
However, to Heinrich Wölfflin, “it is quite wrong to attempt interpretations of the School of Athens as an esoteric treatise . The all-important thing was the artistic motive which expressed a physical or spiritual state, and the name of the person was a matter of indifference” in Raphael’s time.  Raphael’s artistry then orchestrates a beautiful space, continuous with that of viewers in the Stanza, in which a great variety of human figures, each one expressing “mental states by physical actions,” interact, in a “polyphony” unlike anything in earlier art, in the ongoing dialogue of Philosophy. 
The School of Athens is one of a group of four main frescoes on the walls of the Stanza (those on either side centrally interrupted by windows) that depict distinct branches of knowledge. Each theme is identified above by a separate tondo containing a majestic female figure seated in the clouds, with putti bearing the phrases: “Seek Knowledge of Causes,” “Divine Inspiration,” “Knowledge of Things Divine” (Disputa), “To Each What Is Due.” Accordingly, the figures on the walls below exemplify Philosophy, Poetry (including Music), Theology, and Law.  The traditional title is not Raphael’s. The subject of the “School” is actually “Philosophy,” or at least ancient Greek philosophy, and its overhead tondo-label, “Causarum Cognitio”, tells us what kind, as it appears to echo Aristotle’s emphasis on wisdom as knowing why, hence knowing the causes, in Metaphysics Book I and Physics Book II. Indeed, Plato and Aristotle appear to be the central figures in the scene. However, all the philosophers depicted sought knowledge of first causes. Many lived before Plato and Aristotle, and hardly a third were Athenians. The architecture contains Roman elements, but the general semi-circular setting having Plato and Aristotle at its centre might be alluding to Pythagoras’ circumpunct.
On the wall opposite the School of Athens, Raphael painted the other large and historically famous painting of the Disputa (The Disputation of the Blessed Sacrament) to depict the wall of theology. The point of perspective in this painting lies obviously enough where the blessed host is levitated above a golden chalice-like object. The four main figures displayed in the middle of the second tier of the painting show Mary, Jesus, John the Baptist, and above Jesus
>s chalice by his knee. He appears to be deep in thought and his face depicts a very cynical attitude which Diogenes was famous for. Many art historians praise Raphael for this figure because of the use of depth that can be seen by Diogenes