Tuesday, October 4, 2016
The School of Athens Summary
(H3) I didn't see a post from Sean or Bryce about our midterm project over The School of Athens, so I thought I'd go ahead and give a summary of our presentation. We split up our project into three sections, for each person. I was responsible for an overview of the history behind the painting, a description of the figures and why they were portrayed the way they were, and Raphael's philosophy. The School of Athens was painted by an Italian artist, Raphael, and displayed in the Vatican. The general theme of the painting is the synthesis of worldly (Greek) and spiritual (Christian) thinking. Raphael portrayed an ideal community of intellects from the entire classical world, across time, in order to manifest his vision of a world of humanist thought on canvas. His use of linear perspective and color draws the viewer's eye to points on the painting that Raphael deemed the most important, such as the figures Plato and Aristotle. On either side of Plato or Aristotle are the main thinkers of the classical world. The philosophers, poets and abstract thinkers are allied on Plato's side. The physical scientists and more empirical thinkers are on the side of Aristotle. This indicates a transition from philosophy to pure science from left to right. While not all have been definitively identified, many have been speculated over. Bryce was responsible for Empedocles and another philosopher. Sean was responsible for Diogenes, the cynic, and Pythagoras, the mathematician. Bryce and Sean went into an analysis of each of these figures from the painting in detail. In the comments I will post discussion questions as well if you want to take a swing at them.