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Raphael 1483-1520, The School of Athens, 1509-1511.
An incredibly popular design since producing it as a bespoke commision for a customer, this pocket square features the Raphael masterpiece; The School of Athens. It was painted between 1509 and 1511 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The Stanza della Segnatura was the first of the rooms to be decorated, and The School of Athens, representing Philosophy, was probably the third painting to be finished there, after La Disputa (Theology) on the opposite wall, and the Parnassus (Literature).
The picture has long been seen as "Raphael's masterpiece and the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the Renaissance". Experts have suggested that nearly every great ancient Greek philosopher can be found in the painting, but determining which are depicted is difficult, since Raphael made no designations outside possible likenesses, and no contemporary documents explain the painting. The soft colour palette and exceptionally detailed back story from one of the Renaissance's greats make this a perfect addition as a pocket square.
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Raphael was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.
He was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his death at 37, leaving a considerable body of work. Many of his works can be found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings, which unfortunately resulted in a considerable loss of quality. He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking.
Macclesfield was once the centre of the English silk weaving industry and the world's biggest producer of finished silk. The area has been printing silk for over 300 years and at one point had over seventy mills operating in the town. The town is close to a water supply that passes through limestone, and when used in washing and dyeing it gives silk a uniquely attractive lustre.
Our pocket squares are printed at a mill that has been producing printed fabric on the same site for the past fifty years and the process uses water sourced from its own reservoir.
The art of hand rolling pocket squares is a unique craft and truly makes each piece individual and unique. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans gives each scarf its own unique character, finish and feel. To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk or cotton pocket square must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one half to one centimetre apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border.
It’s absolutely the best way to finish a pocket square for a variety of reasons but the key ones are for both visual effect and structure. Rolling by hand is the only way to get a really nice clean plump finish on the edge and this gives a really nice depth to the edges. It’s a more expensive process than machine rolling but by using a machine you’re often left with a flat edge and you don’t get the same luxurious feel. On top of this, the rolled edges add a lot more structure to your pocket square.
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