One of Rafael’s virtues is the ability to maintain and manage a large group of painters in order to fulfill his artistic visions. He used to paint on walls, and this is the main reason his pictures survived to this day. Normally, the pictures had to be cared and maintained, but eventually they survived and we can enjoy them today 🙂
Scuola di Atene, Parnassus, Disputa and Ostanian Conquest are all 10 meters squared in size. Just for your understanding, 10 meters squared is like a quarter of your class floor. For Scuola di Athene – the whole group spent more than a year, for the Disputa even more.
Why Scuala di Athena? The pope did not see it with good eye to praise people who were not monotheist. The name “scuala”(school) is a comprimise for the pope, who did not what to be seen as if he was giving permission to Pagan Philosophers. Till Rafael, it was sort of forbidden to relate to Pagan literature.
Till about the year 1,500, the people were not allowed to be exposed to philosophies of non Christians. Why is it interesting? Because Julius the Second was the first pope that not only allowed it, but has requested Rafael to paint these figures in large size at his private home. We may “accuse” Julius for being pluralist somehow, as his request for such pictures deliver the message that such pictures are legitimate.
Rafael was the one who profited the most from this new shift. As for painters before him, they could say they dared to paint naked women or erotic pictures, but Rafael has changed the world of art. Rafael was the first to paint pictures that directly contradict Christianity.