where is the school of athens by raphael located in 2018
The cartoon for the painting is in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan.  Missing from it is the architectural background, the figures of Heraclitus, Raphael, and Protogenes. The group of the philosophers in the left foreground strongly recall figures from Leonardo’s Adoration of the Magi.  Additionally, there are some engravings of the scene’s sculptures by Marcantonio Raimondi; they may have been based on lost drawings by Raphael, as they do not match the fresco exactly. 
Commentators have suggested that nearly every great ancient Greek philosopher can be found in the painting, but determining which are depicted is difficult, since Raphael made no designations outside possible likenesses, and no contemporary documents explain the painting. Compounding the problem, Raphael had to invent a system of iconography to allude to various figures for whom there were no traditional visual types. For example, while the Socrates figure is immediately recognizable from Classical busts, the alleged Epicurus is far removed from his standard type. Aside from the identities of the figures depicted, many aspects of the fresco have been variously interpreted, but few such interpretations are unanimously accepted among scholars.
To the left of Plato, Socrates is recognizable thanks to his distinct features. It’s said that Raphael was able to use an ancient portrait bust of the philosopher as his guide. He’s also identified by his hand gesture, as pointed out by Giorgio Vasari in Lives of the Artists. “Even the Manner of Reasoning of Socrates is Express’d: he holds the Fore-finger of his left hand between that, and the Thumb of his Right, and seems as if he was saying You grant me This and This.”
Conversely, Aristotle’s hand is a visual representation of his belief that knowledge comes from experience. Empiricism, as it is known, theorizes that humans must have concrete evidence to support their ideas and is very much grounded in the physical world.
But thankfully, Raphael’s cartoon for “The School of Athens,” a famous fresco in the Vatican, survived.
Five years ago, the cartoon came under the scrutiny of a fresh crop of scholars and restorers, who were concerned about its state of conservation. Funded through a private donation, the restoration took four years because of its complex nature, and required various stages of intervention, said the chief restorer, Maurizio Michelozzi. It might have taken time, but it served to provide “a better understanding of the masterpiece,” Mr. Michelozzi said.
Raphael’s Cartoon for the ‘School of Athens’, located just a short distance from Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’ and Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà Rondanini’, is one of the focal points of Renaissance Milan. At the height of the celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, the work of another Renaissance artist, Raphael Sanzio, has gone on public view again. After an important restoration lasting four years, Milan’s Pinacoteca Ambrosiana has enhanced its artistic and cultural contributions and is exhibiting the preparatory Cartoon for The ‘School of Athens’, one of the best-known paintings by the Urbino-born artist. The cartoon was created as a preparatory sketch for the large painting commissioned by Pope Julius II to decorate the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican, and was entirely hand-drawn by Raphael. This was a truly remarkable because the famous 16th master often worked with the help of other artists. The work has been hung alone in a room in the Pinacoteca.
The room: la Sala Raffaello
If Athens was the ‘school of Greece’, it was because it encouraged interdisciplinary learning, discussion, and critical thought. Such learning and democratic freedom is presented in Pericles’ speech as intrinsically tied to the flows of trade and migrants from different nations who came through the nearby port of the Piraeus. Indeed, Plato’s Republic begins with Socrates’ relating his trip to this same port. The approach of a Liberal Arts education in emphasising critical thinking and a multi-faceted approach to knowledge is one of the perennial fruits of democracy and can guide us toward open and active engagement with the world.
Lest one think that Liberal Arts education was simply a lofty ideal of the classical world, the middle ages, the Italian Renaissance, or the early days of the American republic, calls for Liberal artists in today’s workforce are growing and getting louder. Liberal Arts programs today differ greatly from their predecessors, and look quite different from those that were developed in the nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. Liberal Arts programs are on the rise in Europe (particularly in the Netherlands), and throughout the U.K. Each program is configured differently, but they are all animated by the same core values that have driven Liberal Arts curricula since the ancient world: the conviction that a broad education across different fields of study helps foster a spirit of critical thinking, independent inquiry, and passionate intellectual curiosity. This kind of learning not only benefits students, encouraging you to think ‘outside the box’ and to draw on multiple fields of knowledge for innovative new ideas, but also benefits society at large, by teaching you to think critically, even about your own thoughts and to confront the Big Questions that face our world today. Warwick’s Liberal Arts degree course is the most exciting of these new ventures. Warwick’s program uses problem-based learning to tackle real-world contemporary challenges in the classroom, such as examining the complex networks of ideas between Art and Revolution, the dynamic relationship between Science, Society and the Media, or the wicked problems presented by topics such as Sustainability and Consumption. While BA Liberal Arts students follow a course of study in the department, each selects their own individualised pathway focused on a particular discipline or an issue that they wish to explore in greater depth. Problem-based learning allows the curriculum to change depending on students’ interests and needs, while staff and students collaborate across different fields of knowledge on a daily basis.