Jump to content

School of Athens


Recommended Posts

Hi, all -

 

I recently came across a photo of Raphael's "The School of Athens." (I won't bother posting an image here because I'm sure you all have seen it many times). The first thing that struck me, oddly enough, upon rediscovering this fantastic artwork, was that the architecture was distinctly Roman, rather than Greek. The building was finished in the Tuscan order of architecture (introduced later by the Romans), with pilasters lining the walls instead of columns, and the coffered, barrel-vaulted ceiling reminded me of some roman basilicas I had seen. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe the Greeks ever used octagonal coffers in their architecture.

But here's the interesting part: The two statues really jump out at me. One is obviously a depiction of Apollo, and the other is just as obviously Athena. Any Baconian will of course notice the spear in the latter's hand, and possibly even make the connection Bacon's "double A" headpiece. (I think Rick Wagner had a theory about the first "A" - i.e., the light one - representing the god of the sun, with the dark "A" representing his female counterpart, the Spear Shaker.) I see them in "School" occupying niches on opposite sides of the main gallery - almost like the twin Pillars of the First Temple. Also, there is a tryptic opening at the very top center of the image - just like the tryptic entrances of Gothic/Masonic cathedrals.

If anyone has any thoughts about this remarkable painting, I would love to hear what you all think!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, Marvin Haines said:

Hi, all -

 

I recently came across a photo of Raphael's "The School of Athens." (I won't bother posting an image here because I'm sure you all have seen it many times). The first thing that struck me, oddly enough, upon rediscovering this fantastic artwork, was that the architecture was distinctly Roman, rather than Greek. The building was finished in the Tuscan order of architecture (introduced later by the Romans), with pilasters lining the walls instead of columns, and the coffered, barrel-vaulted ceiling reminded me of some roman basilicas I had seen. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe the Greeks ever used octagonal coffers in their architecture.

But here's the interesting part: The two statues really jump out at me. One is obviously a depiction of Apollo, and the other is just as obviously Athena. Any Baconian will of course notice the spear in the latter's hand, and possibly even make the connection Bacon's "double A" headpiece. (I think Rick Wagner had a theory about the first "A" - i.e., the light one - representing the god of the sun, with the dark "A" representing his female counterpart, the Spear Shaker.) I see them in "School" occupying niches on opposite sides of the main gallery - almost like the twin Pillars of the First Temple. Also, there is a tryptic opening at the very top center of the image - just like the tryptic entrances of Gothic/Masonic cathedrals.

If anyone has any thoughts about this remarkable painting, I would love to hear what you all think!

Hi Marvin. 

Here's a video about the "School of Athens" which confirms some of your perceptive surmises about this famous fresco: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-art-history/early-europe-and-colonial-americas/renaissance-art-europe-ap/v/raphael-school-of-athens

Also, note the Cosmati pavement in the Stanza della Segnatura:

image.jpeg.3cc3d02256dfa6c2c0945e1996e93700.jpeg

 

Edited by Eric Roberts
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...