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Encounter of Leo the Great with Attila

The encounter between Leo the Great and Attila is the last fresco painted in this room. It was completed after the death of Julius II (pontiff from 1503 to 1513), during the pontificate of his successor Leo X (pontiff from 1513 to 1521). In fact the latter appears twice in the same scene, portrayed in the guise of Pope Leo the Great and as cardinal. According to legend, the miraculous apparition of Saints Peter and Paul armed with swords during the meeting between Pope Leo the Great and Attila (452 A.D.) caused the king of the Huns to desist from invading Italy and marching on Rome. Raphael situates the scene at the gates of Rome, identified by the Colosseum, by an aqueduct, an obelisk and other buildings, even if in fact the historical event took place in the north of Italy, near Mantua.