Gino Mazzarella Visual Artist
THE SCHOOL OF ATHENS FRESCO
Raphael, The School of Athens, 1510-1511, Fresco, Rome, Vatican Palace.
“The School of Athens has long been acknowledged as Raphael’s masterpiece and the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the High Renaissance. Its subject is ‘the Athenian school of thought’, a group of famous Greek philosophers gathered around Plato and Aristotle, each in a characteristic pose or activity. Raphael must have already seen the Sistine Ceiling, then nearing completion. He evidently owes to Michelangelo the expressive energy, the physical power, and the dramatic grouping of his figures. Yet Raphael has not simply borrowed Michelangelo’s repertory of gestures and poses; he has absorbed it into his own style, and thereby given it different meaning. Body and spirit, action and emotion, are now balanced harmoniously, and every member of this great assembly plays his role with magnificent, purposeful clarity.” 
 H. W. Janson and Dora Jane Janson, HISTORY OF ART A Survey of the Major Visual Arts from
the Dawn of History to the Present Day: Eighteenth Edition (New York: Harry N, Abrams, Inc., 1974), 362.