Raphael's "School of Athens"
Marcia B. Hall
Cambridge University Press, 1997 - Art - 182 pages
Raphael's "School of Athens" examines one of the masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance and the artist's best-known work. Commissioned by Pope Julius II to decorate the walls of his private library, the fresco represents the gathering of the philosophers of the ancient world around the central figures of Plato and Aristotle. The adjacent walls represent theologians, poets, and lawgivers, the subjects of books in Julius's library. Presented in this volume are early cricitisms of the fresco by Bellori and Wolfflin, along with new interpretations, published in this volume for the first time, of its iconography in relation to the other frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura and in the context of humanism and the rhetorical tradition of the papal court; analysis of Raphael's groundbreaking use of light and color; and an inquiry into the role of Bramante and antique architecture in Raphael's design. An introduction surveys the critical history of Raphael and the painting, and the history of modern interpretations.
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