The School of Athens is a masterpiece by the Italian artist Raphael, commissioned in 1511 by Pope Julius II to decorate the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. The painting depicts a harmonious group of mathematicians, philosophers, and scientists from classical antiquity gathered together to exchange ideas and learn from one another. It showcases innovative Renaissance-era artistic techniques such as linear perspective that add depth and realism to the composition.
Raphael was recommended to the Pope by Italian architect Donate Bramante due to his ingenuity and skills as an artist. The painting’s impeccable harmony is characteristic of Raphael’s work, and it is considered one of his greatest achievements. It forms part of a larger fresco cycle known as the Signature Room in the Palace of the Vatican.