Abstract / Synopsis

In this article we argue that Raphael has hidden a geometric shape called a vesica piscis in his fresco The School of Athens (1510-1511). The vesica piscis, and several findings which can be interpreted as suggesting the presence of a vesica piscis in the fresco, are presented. Several of these suggestions relate to the vesica piscis drawn in the construction of an equilateral triangle in the first proposition of Euclid’s Elements. Based on findings in the fresco, we suggest that the vesica piscis should be interpreted in light of a philosophical and theological controversy which took place in Italy in the decades around 1500, between the Catholic Church and philosophers at the University of Padua.



Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.