The School of Athens
The School of Athens is a fresco by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1509 and 1511 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican; the Stanza della Segnatura was the first of the rooms to be decorated, The School of Athens, representing Philosophy, was the third painting to be finished there, after La Disputa on the opposite wall, the Parnassus. The picture has long been seen as "Raphael's masterpiece and the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the Renaissance"; the School of Athens is one of a group of four main frescoes on the walls of the Stanza that depict distinct branches of knowledge. Each theme is identified above by a separate tondo containing a majestic female figure seated in the clouds, with putti bearing the phrases: "Seek Knowledge of Causes," "Divine Inspiration," "Knowledge of Things Divine", "To Each What Is Due." Accordingly, the figures on the walls below exemplify Philosophy, Poetry and Law.
The traditional title is not Raphael's. The subject of the "School" is "Philosophy," or at least ancient Greek philosophy, its overhead tondo-label, "Causarum Cognitio", tells us what kind, as it appears to echo Aristotle's emphasis on wisdom as knowing why, hence knowing the causes, in Metaphysics Book I and Physics Book II. Indeed and Aristotle appear to be the central figures in the scene. However, all the philosophers depicted sought knowledge of first causes. Many lived before Plato and Aristotle, hardly a third were Athenians; the architecture contains Roman elements, but the general semi-circular setting having Plato and Aristotle at its centre might be alluding to Pythagoras' circumpunct. Commentators have suggested that nearly every great ancient Greek philosopher can be found in the painting, but determining which are depicted is difficult, since Raphael made no designations outside possible likenesses, no contemporary documents explain the painting. Compounding the problem, Raphael had to invent a system of iconography to allude to various figures for whom there were no traditional visual types.
For example, while the Socrates figure is recognizable from Classical busts, the alleged Epicurus is far removed from his standard type. Aside from the identities of the figures depicted, many aspects of the fresco have been variously interpreted, but few such interpretations are unanimously accepted among scholars; the popular idea that the rhetorical gestures of Plato and Aristotle are kinds of pointing is likely. But Plato's Timaeus –, the book Raphael places in his hand – was a sophisticated treatment of space and change, including the Earth, which guided mathematical sciences for over a millennium. Aristotle, with his four-elements theory, held that all change on Earth was owing to motions of the heavens. In the painting Aristotle carries his Ethics, which he denied could be reduced to a mathematical science, it is not certain how much the young Raphael knew of ancient philosophy, what guidance he might have had from people such as Bramante, or whether a detailed program was dictated by his sponsor, Pope Julius II.
The fresco has recently been interpreted as an exhortation to philosophy and, in a deeper way, as a visual representation of the role of Love in elevating people toward upper knowledge in consonance with contemporary theories of Marsilio Ficino and other neo-Platonic thinkers linked to Raphael. According to Vasari, the scene includes Raphael himself, the Duke of Mantua and some Evangelists. However, to Heinrich Wölfflin, "it is quite wrong to attempt interpretations of the School of Athens as an esoteric treatise... The all-important thing was the artistic motive which expressed a physical or spiritual state, the name of the person was a matter of indifference" in Raphael's time. Raphael's artistry orchestrates a beautiful space, continuous with that of viewers in the Stanza, in which a great variety of human figures, each one expressing "mental states by physical actions," interact, in a "polyphony" unlike anything in earlier art, in the ongoing dialogue of Philosophy. An interpretation of the fresco relating to hidden symmetries of the figures and the star constructed by Bramante was given by Guerino Mazzola and collaborators.
The main basis are two mirrored triangles on the drawing from Bramante, which correspond to the feet positions of certain figures. The identities of some of the philosophers in the picture, such as Plato and Aristotle, are certain. Beyond that, identifications of Raphael's figures have always been hypothetical. To complicate matters, beginning from Vasari's efforts, some have received multiple identifications, not only as ancients but as figures contemporary with Raphael. Vasari mentions portraits of the young Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, leaning over Bramante with his hands raised near the bottom right, Raphael himself, he was writing over 40 years after the painting, never knew Raphael, but no doubt reflects what was believed in his time. Many other popular identifications of portraits are dubious. Luitpold Dussler counts among those who can be identified with some certainty: Plato, Socrates, Euclid, Zoroaster, Raphael and Diogenes of Sinope. Other identifications he holds to be "more or less speculative".
A more comprehensive list of proposed identifications is given below: 1: Zeno of Citium 2: Epicurus 3: unknown 4: Boethius or Anaximander 5: Averroes 6: Pythagoras 7: Alcibiades or Alexander the Great or Pericles 8: Antisthe
Portrait of Elisabetta Gonzaga
The Portrait of Elisabetta Gonzaga is a painting from around 1504, attributed to the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael and housed in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Contemporary sources speak of a portrait of Elisabetta Gonzaga executed by Raphael; the painting was part of the Ducal collection of Urbino, brought to Florence in 1635 as Vittoria della Rovere's dowry. In is mentioned with certainty for the first time in 1773, when it was transferred from Palazzo Pitti to the Grand Ducal wardrobe of the Uffizi. In a 1784 inventory it was attributed to Giovanni Bellini's school, while that of 1825 listed it as by Andrea Mantegna, it was attributed to Raphael for the first time in 1905. Other artists to whom the portrait has been assigned include Francesco Francia, Giovan Francesco Caroto, Francesco Bonsignori and Albrecht Dürer; the woman portrayed is Elisabetta Gonzaga, wife of Duke Guidobaldo I of Urbino and a woman of literary and artistic interests. Details include the black dress with applied trim in a patchwork pattern, the scorpion-like diadem on the woman's forehead.
Her hairdo includes the coazzone, a long plait, present in a medal of her now at the British Museum. Portrait of Guidobaldo da Montefeltro Portrait of Emilia Pia da Montefeltro De Vecchi, Pierluigi. Raffaello. Milan: Rizzoli
Three Graces (Raphael)
The Three Graces is an oil painting by Italian painter Raphael, housed in the Musée Condé of Chantilly, France. The date of origin has not been positively determined, though it seems to have been painted at some point after his arrival to study with Pietro Perugino in about 1500 1503-1505. According to James Patrick in 2007's Renaissance and Reformation, the painting represents the first time that Raphael had depicted the nude female form in front and back views; the image depicts three of the Graces of classical mythology. It is asserted that Raphael was inspired in his painting by a ruined Roman marble statue displayed in the Piccolomini Library of the Siena Cathedral—19th-century art historian held that it was a not skillful copy of that original—but other inspiration is possible, as the subject was a popular one in Italy. Julia Cartwright in Early Work of Raphael proposes that the painting bears far more influence of the school of Ferrara than classical sculpture, making clear that the statue was not Raphael's model.
The three women in the painting may represent stages of development of woman, with the girded figure on the left representing the maiden and the woman to the right maturity,though other interpretations have been advanced. In 1930, Professor Erwin Panofsky proposed that this painting was part of a diptych along with Vision of a Knight and that based on the theme of Vision the painting represented the Hesperides with the golden apples which Hercules stole; some art historians disagree with Panofsky's conclusion. Roger Jones and Nicholas Penny, in 1987's biography Raphael, suggest that the scale differences of the figures in the paintings make it unlikely that they were intended as a diptych, though "one might have formed the lid of the other." In 16th Century Italian Art, Michael Wayne Cole opines that while "there can be no doubt that they form a pair...they must not be imagined as a diptych, excluded by their square shape and by the change in scale of the figures." Cole presents the figures as handmaidens of Venus, holding the golden apples with which she is associated and affirming the proper connection of "Virtus" and Amor
The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy. One of the most important Italian museums and the most visited, it is one of the largest and best known in the world and holds a collection of priceless works from the period of the Italian Renaissance. After the ruling house of Medici died out, their art collections were gifted to the city of Florence under the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by Anna Maria Luisa, the last Medici heiress; the Uffizi is one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, in 1765 it was opened to the public, formally becoming a museum in 1865. Today, the Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence and one of the most visited art museums in the world; the building of Uffizi complex was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de' Medici so as to accommodate the offices of the Florentine magistrates, hence the name uffizi, "offices".
The construction was continued by Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti. The top floor was made into a gallery for the family and their guests and included their collection of Roman sculptures; the cortile is so long and open to the Arno at its far end through a Doric screen that articulates the space without blocking it, that architectural historians treat it as the first regularized streetscape of Europe. Vasari, a painter and architect as well, emphasised its perspective length by adorning it with the matching facades' continuous roof cornices, unbroken cornices between storeys, as well as the three continuous steps on which the palace-fronts stand; the niches in the piers that alternate with columns of the Loggiato filled with sculptures of famous artists in the 19th century. The Uffizi brought together under one roof the administrative offices and the Archivio di Stato, the state archive; the project was intended to display prime art works of the Medici collections on the piano nobile.
He commissioned the architect Buontalenti to design the Tribuna degli Uffizi that would display a series of masterpieces in one room, including jewels. The octagonal room was completed in 1584. Over the years, more sections of the palace were recruited to exhibit paintings and sculpture collected or commissioned by the Medici. For many years, 45 to 50 rooms were used to display paintings from the 13th to 18th century; because of its huge collection, some of the Uffizi's works have in the past been transferred to other museums in Florence—for example, some famous statues to the Bargello. A project was finished in 2006 to expand the museum's exhibition space some 6,000 metres2 to 13,000 metres2, allowing public viewing of many artworks, in storage; the Nuovi Uffizi renovation project which started in 1989 was progressing well in 2015 to 2017. It was intended to modernize all of more than double the display space; as well, a new exit was planned and the lighting, air conditioning and security systems were updated.
During construction, the museum remained open, although rooms were closed as necessary with the artwork temporarily moved to another location. For example, the Botticelli rooms and two others with early Renaissance paintings were closed for 15 months but reopened in October 2016; the major modernization project, New Uffizi, had increased viewing capacity to 101 rooms by late 2016 by expanding into areas used by the Florence State Archive. The Uffizi hosted over two million visitors in 2016, making it the most visited art gallery in Italy. In high season, waiting times can be up to five hours. Tickets are available on-line in advance, however, to reduce the waiting time. A new ticketing system is being tested to reduce queuing times from hours to just minutes; the museum is being renovated to more than double the number of rooms used to display artwork. On 27 May 1993, the Sicilian Mafia carried out a car bomb explosion in Via dei Georgofili and damaged parts of the palace, killing five people.
The blast destroyed five pieces of art and damaged another 30. Some of the paintings were protected by bulletproof glass; the most severe damage was to the Niobe room and classical sculptures and neoclassical interior, although its frescoes were damaged beyond repair. In early August 2007, Florence experienced a heavy rainstorm; the Gallery was flooded, with water leaking through the ceiling, the visitors had to be evacuated. There was a much more significant flood in 1966 which damaged most of the art collections in Florence including some of the works in the Uffizi; the collection contains some ancient sculptures, such as the Arrotino and the Two Wrestlers. Collections of the Uffizi Official website Uffizi – Google Art Project Uffizi Gallery
Young Woman with Unicorn
Portrait of Young Woman with Unicorn is a painting by Raphael, which art historians date to 1505 or 1506. It is in the Galleria Borghese in Rome; the painting was oil on panel, was transferred to canvas during conservation work in 1934. It was in the course of this work that overpainting was removed, revealing the unicorn, removing the wheel and palm frond, added by an unknown painter during the mid-17th century; the composition of the picture--placing the figure in a loggia opening out onto a landscape, the three-quarter length format-- was inspired by the Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo between 1503 and 1506. Christof Thoenes observes: "However unabashedly Raphael adopts the pose, compositional framework and spatial organization of the Leonardo portrait...the cool watchfulness in the young woman's gaze is different" from the "enigmatic ambiguity" of Mona Lisa. The work was of uncertain attribution until recent times. In the 1760 inventory of the Gallery, the subject of the painting was identified as Saint Catherine of Alexandria and attributed to Perugino.
A restoration of the painting in 1934–36 confirmed art historian Roberto Longhi's attribution of the work to Raphael, the removal of heavy repainting revealed the unicorn, traditionally a symbol of chastity in medieval romance, in place of a Saint Catherine wheel. Restoration work on the painting in 1959 revealed through radiography the image of a small dog, a symbol of conjugal fidelity, under the unicorn; this alteration is believed to have been made by Raphael. Giulia Farnese Barchiesi and Marina # Minozzi, The Galleria Borghese: The Masterpieces, Galleria Borghese, Rome, n.d. Thoenes, Raphael 1483-1520: The Invention of the High Renaissance, Koln: Taschen, 2012
St. Michael (Raphael)
St. Michael is an oil painting by Italian artist Raphael. Called the Little St. Michael to distinguish it from a larger treatment of the same theme, St. Michael Vanquishing Satan, it is housed in the Louvre in Paris; the work depicts the Archangel Michael in combat with the demons of Hell, while the damned suffer behind him. Along with St. George, it represents the first of Raphael's works on martial subjects. An early work of the artist, the painting was executed for Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, in 1504 or 1505 on the back of a draughtboard commissioned to express appreciation to Louis XII of France for conferring the Order of Saint Michael on Francesco Maria I della Rovere, Guidobaldo's nephew and heir. Whatever the impetus for its creation, by 1548 it hung in the collection at the Palace of Fontainebleau. In 2006's Early Work of Raphael, Julia Cartwright suggests it may betray the influence of Timoteo Viti in the gold tinting to the green wings of Michael, while the sinners in the background suggest that Raphael may have consulted an illustrated volume of Dante's Inferno.
The punishments depicted reflect Dante's treatment of thieves. A little more than a decade after completing the little St. Michael, Raphael was commissioned to revisit the theme, producing St. Michael Vanquishing Satan for Pope Leo X in 1518. Media related to Saint Michael with the Dragon by Raffaello Sanzio at Wikimedia Commons
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection