The School of Athens

The School of Athens is a painting by the Italian master Raphael. It was hugely influential at the time and is remembered as the perfection of artistic ideals from the time period. It is a statement about the coexistence of pagan Greek philosophy and modern Christian Italian culture, as the basis for European civilization. Shown is an engraving after the painting which we have adopted as our symbol for the network.

Commentators have suggested that nearly every great ancient Greek philosopher can be found in the painting, but determining which are depicted is difficult, since Raphael made no designations outside possible likenesses, and no contemporary documents explain the painting. The fresco has even recently been interpreted as an exhortation to philosophy and, in a deeper way, as a visual representation of the role of Love in elevating people toward upper knowledge.