Museums and Art

Disputa, Rafael Santi, 1509

Disputa, Rafael Santi, 1509

Disputa - Rafael Santi. Stanza della Senyatura

Despite his youth, the artist was already known for his paintings, when in 1508 the architect Donato Bramante invited him to work in Rome. Raphael was one of those thanks to whom the High Renaissance flourished here.

In the space of the wall, limited, as in other cases, by a semicircular arch, the artist wrote a complex and at the same time clear composition. In its center is the Trinity: God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spiritdescending to the monstrosity standing on the altar (a variety of the donor bearer) with a guest (Eucharistic bread that existed in the flesh of Christ). This is the semantic axis on which the whole image is "strung", then developing horizontally. The Mother of God and St. John the Baptist are sitting next to Christ, and on the semicircular cloud are the forefathers, prophets, saints Peter, Paul, John the Evangelist and others. Below, on the sides of the altar with the Holy Gifts, about which there is a debate, there is an earthly church, and here you can see the fathers of the Roman Catholic Church, pontiffs and other Christians, whose faith left a mark in history.

The opportunities provided by the semicircular shape of the wall, given the architecture of the arches, were remarkably used by Raphael. The circular rhythm of the whole composition is echoed by a cloud with the forefathers and saints sitting on it, and the radiance around Christ, and the golden heavens resembling the painted conch of the apse, that is, its inner arch. No wonder Rafael was both a painter and an architect: the fresco with its construction is similar to an architectural structure and is inseparable from the room in which it is located. In the lower part, in the background, the artist depicted a church under construction, recalling the then-built St. Peter's Cathedral, one of the main architects of which he will become a few years later.


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