France Will Loan Raphael's 'School of Athens' To Greece In Celebration Of 200 Years Of Greek Independence

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France Will Loan Raphael's 'Schools of Athens' To Greece In Celebration Of 200 Years Of Greek Independence

Photo: 'The School of Athens' fresco by Raphael, depicting the Platonic Academy in Athens. Depicted in the centre is Plato on the left and Aristotle on the right. The fresco now decorates the rooms known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The work is the basis for the tapestry that will be loaned to Greece.

The French government has announced that it will loan a tapestry based on the famous 'School of Athens' painting to Greece to mark the 200th anniversary of Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire.

The tapestry, which is from the 17th century, is a copy of the fresco painting by famed Renaissance artist Raphael. The painting and tapestry depicts the School of Athens and features the three greatest thinkers of Ancient Greece, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle along with a number of other famed thinkers, including Diogenes, Pythagoras and Archimedes. It also includes Ancient Greek gods such as Apollo and Athena.

Many artists and thinkers from the Renaissance period, such as Da Vinci and Raphael, looked to Ancient Greece as inspiration, believing that the Ancient Greek thinkers represented the desire for knowledge through reason, ideas that were emerging once again during the Renaissance period.

The painting has been used widely in popular culture and has been replicated by artists elsewhere in the world. Large painted copies exist in Königsberg Cathedral, Kaliningrad and in the University of North Carolina at Asheville's Highsmith University Student Union. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London also has a rectangular version of the painting which is 4 metres by 8 metres in size. Two of the figures from the painting were used for the cover of rock-band Guns N' Roses albums Use Your Illusion I and II.

The tapestry has recently undergone renovation work and was released to the public following this work last year. It is widely regarded as being priceless.

The original painting on which the tapestry is based is found on the walls of the Vatican City and was painted by Raphael using techniques and skills he learned directly from Leonardo Da Vinci. Painted between 1510 and 1511, it sits in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace. It is 13 feet high and 30 feet across. The tapestry is a direct copy of the painting meaning that it is of the exact same dimensions.

The tapestry copy of the painting is hung in the French National Assembly since 1879 but will soon be moved to Greece where it will be on display in the Greek Parliament.

Art historian Horst Woldemar Janson said of the original painting:

"Raphael's masterpiece is the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the Renaissance."

[h/t: Greek Reporter]

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Thinking Humanity: France Will Loan Raphael's 'School of Athens' To Greece In Celebration Of 200 Years Of Greek Independence
France Will Loan Raphael's 'School of Athens' To Greece In Celebration Of 200 Years Of Greek Independence
The French government has announced that it will loan a tapestry based on the famous 'School of Athens' painting to Greece to mark the 200th annivers
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