The Esoteric Meaning in Raphael’s Paintings: The Philosophy of Composition in
The seed of this book was planted in 1941, when Giorgio Spadaro first visited the Vatican Museums with his cousin, the painter Beppe Assenza. A second visit and further conversations in 1945 watered the seed, which germinated and grew over more than half a century. Now it has flowered, in the light of Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy, into this profound and accessible meditation on the spiritual significance of three of Raphael’s greatest paintings: The School of Athens (shown left), The Disputation (below), and The Transfiguration.
By working attentively, patiently, and carefully through its composition and the geometry it embodies, Spadaro’s meditation reveals a prophetic Raphael whose paintings have much to teach us about the evolution of consciousness, the role of Christ and Christianity in human evolution, and the path of individual inner development. Spadaro shows how Raphael’s paintings depict, with precision and in detail, the spiritual, cosmic, and physical situation of humanity, through which it must grow to fulfillment.
Reading his descriptions and following them in the paintings brings to life a spiritual reality all too often ignored or denied by art historians. At the same time, through his deep understanding of the paintings’ spiritual content, he is able to identify, in a meaningful way, the figures depicted and their significance.
Here is a valuable addition to the growing body of literature on the profound spiritual meaning contained in Rafael’s paintings.
C O N T E N T S:
The School of Athens
About the Author
Giorgio I. Spadaro was born in Sicily in 1925 into a family of artists. He lived in Benghazi, Libya, from 1933 to 1941, at which time he returned to Sicily with his family. Although he was aware of his cousin Beppe Assenza, it was not until 1945 that they met on an intellectual and artistic level. Beppe introduced Giorgio to Anthroposophy and to the responsibilities associated with being an artist. It was also at this point that Giorgio was introduced to Raphael and a general incomprehension of his work. In 1949, he moved to Chicago, where he lived and worked for more than twenty-five years. In 1975, after spending a year in Dornach, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he currently lives and continues his creative endeavors.