Disputation of the Sacrament —- 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, Moses and Jacob. God the Father sits above Jesus, depicted reigning over the golden light of heaven. Below, on the altar sits the monstrance.
The altar is flanked by theologians who are depicted debating Transubstantiation. Christ’s body is represented in the 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 writer). In the left hand corner, there is a bald figure reading a book leaning over a railing. This is Raphael’s mentor and Renaissance architect Bramante.