Raphael’s The School of Athens: Classical Philosophers in a Renaissance Work

Raphael’s The School of Athens: Classical Philosophers in a Renaissance Work

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The European Renaissance was the time period after the Dark Ages. In the Renaissance, radical new ideas like humanism and individualism took foot. Also, art and science were re-embraced for the first time in Europe since classical times. Art in the Renaissance became much more realistic and advanced using new techniques such as chiaroscuro (using high contrast to add depth to a painting), foreshortening (adjusting line length and angle to make 2-D objects look 3-D), and much more accurate perspective. The new art represented the new ideas of the Renaissance because where Gothic style art showed things in Theological perspective and had little to do with anything other than religion, Renaissance art represented new, more secular ideas by showing things in literal perspective and often had non-religious subjects. Raphael was a High Renaissance painter and architect. He was born on April 6, 1483, in Urbino, Italy. He died on April 6, 1520, in Rome. (EBO) He lived a very successful life, and had many great works. Perhaps one of his most famous is The School of Athens. It is a fresco located in a papal apartment he designed, surrounded by other frescoes he painted. It was painted in between 1508 and 1511 for Pope Julius II. (EBO) Many artistic scholars consider it to be the best representation of the High Renaissance in a single work. It represents the new mindset of the Renaissance so well because it shows philosophers debating science and religion openly, wearing classical clothing, and in a setting thought to be a part of the Roman Forum. All the figures in the fresco have their own unique face, and are doing something different.
The School of Athens shows many both philosophers and average folk talking and debating about new ideas...

... middle of paper ...

... putting so many philosophers in the fresco, The School of Athens is one of the best representations of the new mindset of the Renaissance.

Works Cited
• Cole, Alison. The Renaissance. New York City: DK, 1994. Print.

• Graham-Dixon, Andrew. Renaissance. Los Angeles: U of California P, 1999. Print.

• Prof. Vaughan, William, et al. “Raphael.” Encyclopedia of Artists. 2000. Print.

• “The School of Athens.” StateMaster Encyclopedia. NationMaster.com, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2009. http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/The-School-of-Athens.

• “Western Painting.” Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2009. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/438648/Western-painting.

• "Raphael." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2009. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/491442/Raphael.

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