Critical Analysis "The School of Athens" High Renaissance: Italian (Florentine) "The School of Athens". 1509-11. Wall fresco. Signature room, The Vatican, Rome: Raphael.

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In this painting, you see around 60 Greek philosophers arranged in a very large hall. The philosophers are talking to each other, discussing theories or mathematical queries. It symbolizes philosophic thinking and the search for truth. On the wall you can see paintings and statues. He has used contour lines with domes and actual line with figures. Personalities are arranged like actors in a tired architectural setting, Raphael has represented distinguished Greek philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle (the central figures) Socrates and Euclid. Composition has been ordered brilliantly, clearly revealing his outstanding ability. The placing of each figure and each group combine to produce perfect harmony, order and balance, and, even though some sixty figures are used in the composition, there is no crowding. Therefore painting is asymmetrical. The main focal point of the painting is on Plato and Aristotle. The painting has more emphasis on these two philosophers than the others because they are centered in the middle of the composition and they are the only two standing in front of hall entrance with sky surrounding them.

Raphael has demonstrated tone in this painting. An example of this is were the light beaming through the windows and creating darkness on the ceiling of the domes. This gives the painting a three-dimensional effect. Also demonstrates line and a range of different colors but mostly primary and secondary, matching perfectly to each figure and object.

The themes he is exploring are philosophic thinking buy Greek Philosophers, who are expressing their theories and beliefs to one another. What this work means to me is, that Raphael had great respect for the Greek scholars and philosophers and admired there teaching and beliefs.

The intention on the artist was to express social views as it looks as if the scholars are socialising to one another and sharing their thinkings. This could also come under a political interpretation as they might be expressing their political views.

I think the great Greek philosophersAristotle and Plato have influenced this artist because he may of shared many of their beliefs and respect their great intellect. I also think he is influenced by them because they are centered in the middle of the composition.

I find this painting extremely well executed it looks very realistic and the artist puts an amazing amount of detail with every object drawn. I find the painting to be a successful piece of work, the composition is well organised, artist has produced perfect harmony and balance. It expresses many art techniques, such as tone, line, chiaroscuro, shade and perspective.

This art would have been well acknowledged at the time, as the paintings shows great thinkers and represents time of knowledge. This is what the Renaissance was about a passion for knowledge and skill. During the Renaissance people had an interest in classical antiquity, it centered around man, his earthly environment and his visual world. The human figure, the landscape, the treatment of deep space, and realistic representation was important. The painting shows this.