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

Philosophy (ceiling tondo)

1509-11
Fresco, diameter 180 cm
Stanza della Segnatura, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican

The woman enthroned is enveloped in a garment that has four colours, each of which represents one of the four elements, which in turn are symbolized by their pattern. Blue is for the stars (air), red is for the tongues of flame (fire), green is for the fish (water), and golden brown is for the flora (earth). Philosophy holds two books with the titles "Morals" and "Nature," while two genii hold texts with Cicero's words Causarum Cognitio (Know the Causes). This picture is situated above The School of Athens.