At age 25 Raphael was summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II (r.1503-13), a man whose ego and ambitions equalled those of the Roman emperors and who wished to restore Rome to its former glory. Julius II chose the young 25 year-old Raphael to paint the various rooms or stanze of the Vatican adjoining the Sistine Chapel. The first to be frescoed was the Stanza della Segnatura (1508-11). Raphael’s frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura, including the magnificent School of Athens, united and integrated the continuous quest for knowledge through reason, revelation, poetic inspiration and law. Here in the stanza Raphael attempts to encapsulate on the vault and the walls all aspects of Man’s life on Earth as divined by God above.
Lorraine Kypiotis is a Lecturer at the department of Art History and Theory at the National Art School, Sydney
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Book by 11 November 2020. Available for viewing 12 to 19 November
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