(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)

The School of Athens (detail)

Stanza della Segnatura, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican

Plato and Aristotle are standing in the centre of the picture at the head of the steps. Diogenes is lying carefree on the steps to show his philosophical attitude: he despised all material wealth and the lifestyle associated with it. Below on the right is a great block of stone whose significance is probably connected with the first epistle of St Peter. It symbolizes Christ, the "cornerstone" which the builders have rejected, which becomes a stumbling block and a "rock of offence" to the unbeliever.