A woman representing philosophy. Etching by B. Audran the elder, c. 1700, after Raphael.
- Raphael, 1483-1520
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About this work
The design is the roundel placed above Raphael's "School of Athens" in the Vatican. Cherubs hold up placards with the lettering "Causarum cognitio" (knowledge of causes). The woman holds books entitled "Moralis" and "Na[tural]is", referring to moral philosophy and natural philosophy. Her dress has designs of fishes and scorpions. The front of her seat is formed by sculpted figures: on the chests of each is a scene showing an old man holding out his hand to a woman emerging from water; a scorpion lies between them. The statues bear two birds and a small man on their heads
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