where is the school of athens

School of Athens is one of a series of four frescoes painted by Raphael representing branches of knowledge. The frescoes, located on the walls of the Stanza, include images descriptive of philosophy, poetry, law, and theology. School of Athens is dedicated to philosophy as a path to knowledge, especially related to understanding causes to drive knowledge. All of the philosophers shown in the fresco traditionally sought knowledge through an understanding of root causes, tying back to the title and theme of the fresco. The overall theme of knowledge is integrated through Raphael”s frescos around the room but School of Athens is considered the best of the series.
The central figures in School of Athens are Plato and Aristotle. Depicted at the central vanishing point of the shown architecture, Plato holds a bound copy of Timaeus in his left hand and is shown as an older, wise, gray-haired man. In contrast, his student Aristotle is shown as a younger, handsome man looking to his teacher. Aristotle carries a bound copy of Nicomachean Ethics in his left hand and walks slightly ahead of Plato. The two central figures both gesture with their right hands but along different visual planes. Plato gestures upwards into the vault while Aristotle gestures horizontally ahead of the figures. Plato and Aristotle are deep in conversation while walking through the other figures.

Where is the school of athens
But just what does this famous painting mean? Let’s look at what the iconic The School of Athens meant for Raphael as an artist and how it’s become such a symbol of the Renaissance. At the time, a commission by the pope was the apex of any artist’s career. For Raphael, it was validation of an already burgeoning career.
In fact, modern influence seeps in more frequently than one would think, particularly when it comes to the faces used for certain figures in The School of Athens. Let’s take a look, group by group, to pick apart the concept and see who appears in the famous fresco.

If in the Dispute, the central axis contains all the primary components of the meaning, in its counterpart on the opposite wall – The School of Athens – the emphasis is on a horizontal reading, and the main figures, located on the top of the short stairs, are strung out like an animated frieze. Such a distribution is related to the fact that in this fresco the stress is on earthly zones rather than on otherworldly ones so characteristic of its analogue. In the case of the Disputa, the golden tonalities reflect theological and spiritual values i n connection with the miraculous nature of the Eucharist; these are in contrast to the clear blues and whites and the crisp, charged atmosphere that characterizes The School of Athens. This is a realm where the power of philosophy and reason, as opposed to faith, seems to dominate.
The School of Athens is a depiction of philosophy. The scene takes place in classical times, as both the architecture and the garments indicate. Figures representing each subject that must be mastered in order to hold a true philosophic debate – astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, and solid geometry – are depicted in concrete form. The arbiters of this rule, the main figures, Plato and Aristotle, are shown in the centre, engaged in such a dialogue.

Where is the school of athens
There are two sculptures in the background. The one on the left is the god Apollo, god of light, archery and music, holding a lyre. [2] The sculpture on the right is Athena, goddess of wisdom, in her Roman guise as Minerva. [2]
A number of drawings made by Raphael as studies for the School of Athens are extant. [13] A study for the Diogenes is in the Städel in Frankfurt [14] while a study for the group around Pythagoras, in the lower left of the painting, is preserved in the Albertina Museum in Vienna. [15] Several drawings, showing the two men talking while walking up the steps on the right and the Medusa on Athena’s shield, [16] [a] the statue of Athena (Minerva) and three other statues, [18] a study for the combat scene in the relief below Apollo [19] and “Euclid” teaching his pupils [20] are in the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology at Oxford University.

Where is the school of athens
Does his brown and blue colored clothes represent the two elements water and earth (probably to show that his philosophy is grounded, material), whereas Plato’s two colors represent fire and air?
The School of Athens represents the great personalities in The Seven Liberal Arts which is divided in the Quadrivium (“The four roads”, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy) and the Trivium (“The three roads”, Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric) of Sciences. Persons representing these Arts are shown in Groups in Raphael’s work. Philosophy considered as something that was important for all arts is shown sometimes in images in form of a central figure, a woman “Philosophia”, nourishing the surrounding personified Seven Liberal Arts. Plato and Aristotle are symbolically used for the Philosophy as central figures.

References:

http://mymodernmet.com/school-of-athens-raphael/
http://www.raphaelpaintings.org/the-school-of-athens.jsp
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_School_of_Athens
http://www.hellenicaworld.com/Greece/Science/en/SchoolAthens.html
http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/famous-paintings/school-of-athens.htm

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