Raphael's School of Athens is among the most important paintings in Vatican City, and is included in the visits to the Vatican Museums. It is framed by an arch and represents the most famous philosophers and mathematicians of antiquity in dialogue with each other, in an imaginary classical building in perfect perspective. The fifty-eight figures in the fresco have always puzzled scholars about their identification. The groups are divided dynamically by concatenating expressions and gestures, and respect a certain symbolic hierarchy.
For various characters Raphael used the features of contemporary artists, including himself, as if to emphasize a new, proud affirmation of the dignity of the modern artist. The figures are arranged in two planes defined by a large staircase that cuts through the entire scene. The first and largest group is arranged either side of a central pair of figures conversing, identified in Plato and Aristotle.
A second independent group, identified as thinkers interested in the knowledge of nature and of celestial phenomena, is placed in the foreground on the left, while a third, also independent, small and symmetrical to the second, is difficult to identify, apart from Euclid drawing a geometric demonstration.
The video below is a copyright of Il Caffè Filosofico, a DVD collection of magazines "Repubblica" and "L'espresso".