This painting titled The School of Athens was painted by Raphael, one of the three most notable artists in the Italian Renaissance. Raphael was born in 1483 into a well-educated and wealthy family. He moved to Florence in 1504 and then Rome in 1508, as both cities were meccas for artists. Rome, of course, was the center of the Catholic Church, and Raphael took advantage of that by painting some magnificent paintings regarding theology. The School of Athens was painted between 1510 and 1511 and took Raphael a long time to complete. The time was worth it, as this painting is one of the most famous frescoes in the Renaissance. A fresco is another term for a mural painting.
The School of Athens is a very interesting painting in many ways. First, there are 21 people in the painting that are believed to be the most influential people in Ancient Greece/Athens, according to Raphael. The second reason why this painting is interesting is who Raphael included in it. It is shocking that Raphael included himself, which makes many people believe that he was a little arrogant and cocky, in a way. The other 20 people in The School of Athens include philosophers like Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle, and other artists such as Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Nothing is certain because we don’t necessarily know who Raphael intended these people to be, and there are many different interpretations. The actual painting is a beauty as well, as the Greek building is very accurate and the perspective makes it look very real. In critics opinions, this painting is a masterpiece not only to Raphael, but to ancient art as a whole.