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Četvrtak, 24 Juni 2021 20:52

Raphael's fresco The School of Athens is a symbol of the Renaissance Istaknut

A fresco The School of Athens Italian Renaissance artist Raphael painted between 1509 and 1511 as a part of his commission Pope Julius II to decorate the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. It is located in the first of the four rooms designed by Raphael, the Stanza della Segnatura which was set to be Julius' library. In particular, this fresco has come to symbolize the marriage of art, philosophy, and science that was a hallmark of the Italian Renaissance.

In the center of the fresco The School of Athens at its architecture's central vanishing point, are elderly Plato at the left, and Aristotle, his student, on the right. Plato is depicted as old, grey, and bare-foot while pointing his finger to the sky. By contrast, Aristotle, slightly ahead of him in mature manhood, wearing sandals and gold-trimmed robes and reaches his right arm directly out toward the viewer. Both figures hold bound copies of their books in their left hands. Plato holds Timaeus while Aristotle holds Nicomachean Ethics. To the left of Plato, Socrates is cloaked in an olive mantle is arguing in a group that includes Chrysippus, Xenophon, Aeschines, and Alcibiades. Facing the venerable Venetian scientist Zeno is Epicurus, crowned with grape leaves, presumably defending the principle of hedonism. In the foreground, Pythagoras sits with a book and an inkwell, also surrounded by students. In strong contrast in front of him is Xenocrates (others say, Parmenides). In the foreground, head resting on his arm, the mournful Heracleitus (with the features of Michelangelo). In tribute to his great rival, Raphael portrayed Michelangelo in the guise of the philosopher from Ephesus. The child at the side of Epicurus, clearly indifferent to the speculations of the thinkers, seems to be Federico Gonzaga. 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. Experts believe that Euclid is a portrait of Raphael's friend Bramante. Geographer Ptolemy in a yellow robe is right next to Euclid, with his back to the viewer. He holds a terrestrial globe in his hand. It's thought that the bearded man standing in front of him holding a celestial globe is the astronomer Zoroaster. The young man standing next to Zoroaster, peaking out at the viewer, is Raphael himself in the company of the artist Sodoma in a white robe. The older man sprawled on the steps is Diogenes. One of the most striking figures in the composition is a brooding man seated in the foreground, hand on his head in a classic “thinker“ position.

Statues rounding out Raphael's program. Two large statues sit in niches at the back of the school. On Plato's right, is Apollo with a lyre, while on Aristotle's left is Minerva.

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Stefan Tanasijević

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