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Analyze Raphael's the School of Athens

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Analyze Raphael's The School of Athens. Be sure to include the specific symbols that denote each figure and include their placement in the composition.

The School of Athens is revered as Raphael's greatest masterpiece. This painting portrays the greatest intellectual minds of ancient times. Raphael's ingenious technique easily leads the audience to the center of the portrait, by utilizing various diagonals, outlines and compositions. The artist provides a glimpse of reality with the school being populated with philosophers and students. All figurines are meticulously colored and arranged to create a reality effect. Plato's red robe symbolizes a man in dotage or wisdom. Aristotle's blue robe symbolizes youth or a progressive course of teaching. The artist brilliantly depicts two figurines in the center; symbolically choosing unique colors as to oppose one another. Plato and Aristotle are represented by the two figurines directly in the middle of the portrait. Plato is pointing to the heavens and Aristotle points to the earth symbolizing the long debate between idealism and realism. The light in the corridor generates a warm and bright appeal denoting a person's quest for wisdom or knowledge. The school structure has a barrel vault which is similar to a circle. In ancient times, a circle symbolized perfection or the mind of God which alludes to the divine illumination upon the mind of all philosophers. Raphael's painting establishes an admirable texture with his methodical dimensionality. The artist constructs a substance of peace and antiquity as if you were looking out a window.



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