Where Is Epicurus In The "School of Athens"?

  • I'm also skeptical whether Epicurus would have had so prominent a spot right down front if we take the traditional attribution.

    That's another angle on this to consider. Which position is more "prominent"? The one down front with the pudgy wreathed figure, or the position located very close to the central figures of the fresco (even if somewhat obscured)?

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    Elli did you find that your argument was rejected because of disagreement with your conclusion? What was the position of those who rejected your paper as to which figure represents Epicurus?

    Even if I thought you were wrong (and I think you are right) I would still think that the discussion would have been very interesting to present to an Epicurean assembly. Maybe I am missing something (?)

  • Their arguments were not based on senses and feelings. They were not based on what we see that is similar of what we have nowdays for Epicurus bust. The usage of the epicurean CANON has not been used.

    They insisted to preserve those redicule speculations that were spreaded by Popes with some writers about Art and that is : Epicurus in this fresco is that boy with the smirk and has a wreath with vine leafs on his head! This boy, as they say, has the face of a cardinal named Inghirami that was a secretary to the popes, and had a feminine nickname as Pheadra. :S

    Here you can read something about him.


    In 1510, Inghirami was appointed Prefect of the Palatine Library. As secretary to the College of Cardinals he served as secretary for the papal conclave of 1513 which elected Pope Leo X.[1] About this time he commissioned Raphael to paint his portrait. He appears in the robes of a canon of St. Peter's Basilica. Raphael had already, in 1509, used Inghirami as the model for the Greek philosopher Epicurus in his fresco The School of Athens for the papal apartments.[2][c]

    He served as secretary of the Fifth Lateran Council under Pope Julius II and, after his death, under Pope Leo X.[2]

    Inghirami was overweight at least in his final decades, as shown in Raphael's works. He suffered from strabismus, the failure of the eyes to align, a condition that Raphael disguised in his portrait by focusing his gaze away from the viewer at some unseen superior or inspiration.[10] Contemporary letters hint he was homosexual[1] or state it as plain fact,[8] an interpretation supported by Raphael's "School of Athens" where Inghirami is embraced from behind by a half-hidden male figure, and his unusual feminine nickname of Phaedra.[2]

    Beauty and virtue and such are worthy of honor, if they bring pleasure; but if not then bid them farewell!