The School of Athens, or Scuola di Atene in Italian, is one of the most famous paintings by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1510 and 1511 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The Stanza della Segnatura was the first of the rooms to be decorated, and The School of Athens the second painting to be finished there, after La Disputa, on the opposite wall. The picture has long been seen as "Raphael's masterpiece and the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the High Renaissance
It is generally accepted that Michelangelo is portrayed in this fresco as the man sitting in the left foreground looking down. Several other well know historical figures such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are also depicted.