who are the people in the painting school of athens

Who are the people in the painting school of athens
Central in the painting are Plato, as a gray-haired old man, and Aristotle, a younger man who is obviously Plato’s student. Other philosophers are less identifiable because no historical images of them exist. Figures whose identities historians are fairly certain include Socrates, Euclid, Ptolemy, Pythagoras and Zoroaster. Though these philosophers lived at different times, Rafael assembled them to encompass his overall theme of philosophical knowledge. Rafael also painted himself into the picture as one of the 21 philosophers.
The Bishop’s words struck at the heart of Raphael’s original artistic conception. It had been the artist’s intention to depict Hypatia standing alone in the center foreground, located, spatially, between the viewers of the fresco and the central figures of Plato and Aristotle, as homage to her unique role, temporally, as guardian and transmitter of their ancient wisdom and inquiring spirit to their intellectual heirs in future eras.

Who are the people in the painting school of athens
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.
Stanza della Segnatura

Who are the people in the painting school of athens
Nevertheless, the fresco has even recently been interpreted as an exhortation to philosophy and, in a deeper way, as a visual representation of the role of Love in elevating people toward upper knowledge, largely in consonance with contemporary theories of Marsilio Ficino and other neo-Platonic thinkers linked to Raphael. [5]
The popular idea that the rhetorical gestures of Plato and Aristotle are kinds of pointing (to the heavens, and down to earth) is very likely. However, Plato’s Timaeus – which is the book Raphael places in his hand – was a sophisticated treatment of space, time, and change, including the Earth, which guided mathematical sciences for over a millennium. Aristotle, with his four-elements theory, held that all change on Earth was owing to motions of the heavens. In the painting Aristotle carries his Ethics, which he denied could be reduced to a mathematical science. It is not certain how much the young Raphael knew of ancient philosophy, what guidance he might have had from people such as Bramante and whether a detailed program was dictated by his sponsor, Pope Julius II.

Who are the people in the painting school of athens
Part of a portait by Raphael assumed to represent Francesco Maria della Rovere (1490-1538)
The School of Athens ( 5.77 m * 8.14 m ) was painted by the 27 year old Raphael (Raffaelo) Sanzio (or Santi) for Pope Julius II (1503-1513). In 1508 the young native of Urbino had been recommended to Julius II by Donato Bramante, the pope’s architect, and also a native of Urbino. So enthusiastic was the pope when he saw the fresco that Raphael received the commission to paint the entire papal suite. The Stanza della Segnatura was to be Julius’ library, Bibiotheca Iulia, which would house a small collection of books intended for his personal use. The Fresco of Raphael’s School of Athens is a masterpiece of Art. However we do not know all details of the persons who are depicted. Giorgio Vasari and others have suggested nearly all Greek philosophers and ancient scientists can be found here. Unfortunately Raphael did not leave any personal notes on this work but some of the persons can be identified. The work shows that Raphael was an educated person, had some knowledge of Greek philosophy and science. We can consider “The School of Athens” as a “ visualization of knowledge”.

Who are the people in the painting school of athens
In particular, Raphael’s fresco The School of Athens has come to symbolize the marriage of art, philosophy, and science that was a hallmark of the Italian Renaissance. Painted between 1509 and 1511, it is located in the first of the four rooms designed by Raphael, the Stanza della Segnatura.
So who is everyone else? It’s not always crystal clear, as Raphael doesn’t arm all his characters with attributes that give away their identity. Fortunately, there are quite a few that scholars can agree on.

References:

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *