School of Athens

Raphael painted his famous School of Athens in 1510. He shows depth in the picture by creating a realistic use of foreground, middle ground, and background. Within the piece, there are multiple diagonals that are used to lead the viewer’s eyes towards the center of the painting. Plato, who is placed in the center, receives a lot of attention due to his red clothing; a color often used for power in paintings. The composition is easy for the viewer to notice because it guides you by using diagonals.

It’s pretty easy to see the use of symmetry cutting down the middle of the painting. Another use of composition Raphael presents is showing the equal space between the two central figures, Plato and Aristotle. I also noticed that Raphael uses repetition while designing the floor and ceiling patterns. These lines really bring the viewer to the focal point in the center. While I was really looking at this painting, I felt like I was passing by a real window and looking into this scene.

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Objects such as the outer architectural structure, appears close whereas the people appear more distant. This makes it three dimensional unlike two-dimensional pictures, where it looks like everything’s cramped together. Raphael also shows off his accurate depiction of his figures. Most of the subjected people are different in motion, poses, and have facial expressions. There are also several groups that seem to be interacting, which really creates a normal looking environment for this selected scene.