Disputation of the Holy Sacrament
The Disputation of the Sacrament (Italian: La disputa del sacramento), or Disputa, is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1509 and 1510 as only the first part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. At the time, this room was known as the Stanza della Segnatura, and was the private papal library where the supreme papal tribunal met.
In the painting, Raphael has created a scene spanning both heaven and earth. Above, Christ is surrounded by the Blessed Virgin Mary, John the Baptist and various biblical figures such as Adam, Jacob and Moses. God the Father sits above Jesus, depicted reigning over the golden light of heaven, and below Christ's feet is the Holy Spirit. Below, on the altar sits the monstrance.
The altar is flanked by theologians who are depicted debating Transubstantiation. Christ's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity is the Holy Eucharist, which is discussed by representatives of the Church; among them are the original four Doctors of the Church, with Pope Gregory I and Jerome seated to the left of the altar and Augustine and Ambrose to the right, Pope Julius II, Pope Sixtus IV, Savonarola and Dante Alighieri. Pope Sixtus IV is the gold dressed pope in the bottom of the painting. Directly behind Sixtus is Dante, wearing red and sporting a laurel wreath (symbolizing his greatness as a poet). The bald figure reading a book and leaning over a railing in the left hand corner is Raphael's mentor and Renaissance architect Bramante.
- Adams, Italian Renaissance Art, p. 344
- Adams, Italian Renaissance Art, p. 345
- Adams, Italian Renaissance Art, p. 346
- Schneider Adams, Laurie (2001). Italian Renaissance Art. Boulder: Westview Press. pp. 344–346.
- Media related to Raphael's Disputation of the Holy Sacrament at Wikimedia Commons
- The Vatican: spirit and art of Christian Rome, a book from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on this work
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