The School of Athens

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Raphael’s “School of Athens” fresco is one of the four frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura , in the Vatican. The walls are covered with four different scenes, each depicting a different theme. The School of Athens represents Philosophy. The techniques and figures used in the fresco not only pay homage to Raphael’s influences, but are also a presentation of the skills acquired from each. Almost as though he was submitting it for approval. As Raphael traveled throughout Italy, he formed relationships with, and learned a great deal from the masters of the age. In the School of Athens, Raphael depicts his teachers and influences in disguise and presents the skills learned from each. It is because of these influences and the creativity of…show more content…
The figures in the School of Athens are noticeably turning, twisting, bending, and moving. This feat would not have been possible without the influence of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. This change is Raphael’s style began after the preliminary unveiling of the ceiling. Raphael’s figures began to be more voluminous and hulking, similar to the Sybils on the Ceiling. An online art archive explained, “Following the preliminary unveiling of the Sistine ceiling in 1509, the figures in Raphael's pictures acquire more voluminous bodies and more powerful arms, and there is a reduction in their numbers. The bold twisting position adopted by the young woman in the Expulsion of Heliodorus - a pose which reappears in reverse in Raphael's late work, the Transfiguration - would be inconceivable without the influence of Michelangelo.” All doubt can be removed when comparing Raphael’s figures to those of Michelangelo’s Sybils on the Sistine Ceiling. “Any question as to the cause of the widely-acknowledged sudden change in Raphael's style after 1509 is removed for good, however, when we compare the Sibyls and Prophets executed by Raphael in the Capella Chigi in S. Maria della Pace (1512) with those by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. In addition to the thematic kinship of these frescos with Michelangelo, Raphael's new approach to body volumes and twisting poses makes patently clear the

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