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

La Disputa (detail)

Stanza della Segnatura, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican

The wreath of theologians frames the scene on earth on the left and right. The viewer's gaze moves over the perspectively receding pattern of the floor, up the steps, and toward the altar and Host. In the group of theologians on the left, several who face away from the altar are directed back to the centre. The church fathers are enthroned on either side of the altar four variations on spiritual activity: reflection, reading, perceptive seeing and edifying dictation. On the right side the row of theologians comes to an end in a tranquil, staggered arrangement of upright figures. Finally, at far right, the new arrivals are led to the altar again.