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Detail of the Laocoön Group - Thymbraeus

Detail of the Laocoön Group - Thymbraeus


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Laocoön (El Greco)

The Laocoön is an oil painting created between 1610 and 1614 by Greek painter El Greco. It is part of a collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C..

Laocoön
ArtistEl Greco
Year1610–1614
TypeOil painting
Dimensions142 cm × 193 cm (56 in × 76 in)
LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The painting depicts the Greek and Roman mythological story of the deaths of Laocoön, a Trojan priest of Poseidon, and his two sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus. Laocoön and his sons were strangled by sea serpents, a punishment sent by the gods after Laocoön attempted to warn his countrymen about the Trojan horse. [1] Although inspired by the recently discovered monumental Hellenistic sculpture Laocoön and His Sons in Rome, Laocoön is a product of Mannerism, an artistic movement originating in Italy during the 16th century that countered the artistic ideals of the Renaissance. [2] El Greco's painting deliberately breaks away from the balance and harmony of Renaissance art with its strong emotional atmosphere and distorted figures.


Mentioned by Virgil, Sophocles and others, Laocoön (from Greek and Roman mythology pronounced lay-AW-koo-on) was a Trojan priest who tried to alert his people of the stratagem of the Trojan Horse (giant wooden horse with warriors hidden in the belly) that was used by their enemies the Greeks (sometimes called “the Achaeans”) to enter and destroy the city of Troy. (Read about the Trojan War here.)

Laocoön and his two sons Antiphantes (older) and Thymbraeus (younger) were strangled and killed by sea serpents sent by the gods/goddesses – in some versions, it is Athena, in others, Apollo. The events vary considerably across different accounts.

Natural History: A Selection by Pliny (1991, Penguin Classics)

In art, the figure has gained fame largely on account of a statue excavated in 1506 near the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, on display today at the Vatican Museums. The Laocoön Group or Laocoön and His Sons contains almost life-size marble sculptures of the father and sons.

The Roman writer Pliny the Elder (23 AD-79 AD) referred to the group in his Natural History. At 36.37, he writes, “It is a work to be set above all that the arts of painting and sculpture have produced. Out of a single block of marble, the consummate craftsmen of Rhodes – Hagesander, Polydoros and Athenadoros – at the behest of council designed a group of Laocoön and his sons, with the snakes entwined around them all.”

Laocoön and His Sons, Vatican Museums, Rome by User “Dom Crossley”, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

The sculpture on the whole is, according to the British classicist Nigel Spivey (from the University of Cambridge), “the prototypical icon of human agony in Western art”. The first figure to respond to the artwork was Cardinal Jacopo Sadoleto, who was present during the excavation and found Laocoön’s scream to be the “heroic groaning of a wounded man”. Later, J. J. Winckelmann (1717–1768), a German art historian, wrote: “He lets out no heaven-rending scream…rather an anxious, heavy-burdened sigh…his misery cuts us to the quick, but we yearn for the hero’s exemplary strength to endure it.” Spivey goes on to contrast Laocoön’s agony with that of Christ. Because Christ was/is believed to have died to redeem the world, his passive suffering – and that of Christian martyrs subsequently – was/is translated into sublime victory. But the “Suffering Servant” had absolutely no claim to honour in any of the moral systems devised by the Greeks and Romans. There, pain had no great power. Sacrifice didn’t make the world a better place. Loss was useless. Catastrophe was final. Classical Greece was the birthplace of the literary genre we call “tragedy”, of which Laocoön is a true and terrifying icon. [More in Enduring Creation: Art, Pain, and Fortitude (2001, University of California Press)]

Here is a short video from Smarthistory on the sculpture:

Featured: Detail of Laocoön and his Sons by User “Giulio Menna”, CC BY 2.0, Flickr


LAOCOON GROUP 2 oz High Relief Silver Coin 2000 Francs Cameroon 2020

This great coin featuring &bdquoLaokoon Group&rdquo is one of the most beautiful and the most controversial masterpieces of the sculpture art of all time. The coin minted in silver, decorated with antique finish technology on both sides, and with selective gilding on the reverse reflects every detail of the piece faithfully.

  • Antiqued Pure Silver Coin with Selective Gold Gilding
  • Limited mintage 500 pcs.
  • High relief
  • 2 oz of the finest silver and 45 mm diameter

According to some researchers, the sculpture was made in the Hellenistic period, while according to others, the piece we know is only its Roman copy. There is also a hypothesis that &ldquoLaocoon Group&rdquo is a forgery by Michael Angelo.

The statue of Laocoön and His Sons, also called the Laocoön Group, has been one of the most famous ancient sculptures ever since it was excavated in Rome in 1506 and placed on public display in the Vatican, where it remains. It is very likely the same statue praised in the highest terms by the main Roman writer on art, Pliny the Elder. The figures are near life-size and the group is a little over 2 m in height, showing the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being attacked by sea serpents.

Country Cameroon
Denomination 2000 francs
Year 2020
Quality Antique Finish
Material Silver 999/1000
Weight (g) 2 oz ( 62.2g)
Diameter 45 mm
Mintage pcs 500
Certificate (COA) Yes
Presentation case (box) Yes

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Agesander, Athenodoros, and Polydorus' "The Death of Laocoön and His Sons" (Circa 42 to 20 BCE)

Laocoön , the son of Acoetes is a figure in Greek and Roman mythology, a Trojan priest of Poseidon (or Neptune), whose rules he had defied, either by marrying and having sons, or by having committed an impiety by making love with his wife in the presence of a cult image in a sanctuary. His minor role in the Epic Cycle narrating the Trojan War was of warning the Trojans in vain against accepting the Trojan Horse from the Greeks — "A deadly fraud is this," he said, "devised by the Achaean chiefs!" — and for his subsequent divine execution by two serpents sent to Troy across the sea from the island of Tenedos, where the Greeks had temporarily camped.

Laocoön warned his fellow Trojans against the wooden horse presented to the city by the Greeks. In the Aeneid, Virgil gives Laocoön the famous line Equo ne credite, Teucri / Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes, or "Do not trust the Horse, Trojans / Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even bearing gifts." This line is the source of the saying: "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts."

The statue of Laocoön and His Sons (Italian: Gruppo del Laocoonte), also called the Laocoön Group, is a monumental sculpture in marble now in the Vatican Museums, Rome. The statue is attributed by the Roman author Pliny the Elder to three sculptors from the island of Rhodes: Agesander, Athenodoros and Polyclitus. It shows the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being strangled by sea serpents.

Various dates have been suggested for the statue, ranging from about 160 to about 20 BCE. Inscriptions found at Lindos in Rhodes date Agesander and Athenedoros to a period after 42 BC, making the years 42 to 20 the most likely date for the Laocoön statue's creation. It is not known whether it is an original work or a copy of an earlier sculpture. It has been suggested that the three Rhodians were copyists, possibly of a bronze sculpture from Pergamon, created around 200 BC. Pliny in his Natural History (XXXVI, 37) states that it was located in the palace of the emperor Titus. He also asserts that it was carved from a single piece of marble, though when found it was discovered to comprise seven interlocking pieces.

The statue was probably originally commissioned for the home of a wealthy Roman. It was unearthed in 1506 near the site of the Domus Aurea of the Emperor Nero, in the vineyard of Felice De Fredis (41°53′31.39″N 12°30′1.12″E / 41.8920528°N 12.5003111°E / 41.8920528 12.5003111) informed of the fact, Pope Julius II, an enthusiastic classicist, acquired and placed it in the Belvedere Garden at the Vatican (41°54′15″N 12°27′17″E / 41.90417°N 12.45472°E / 41.90417 12.45472), now part of the Vatican Museums.

In 2005 Lynn Catterson argued that the sculpture was a forgery created by Michelangelo. Richard Brilliant, author of My Laocoön, described Catterson's claims as "noncredible on any count".


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Материалы: алебастр, ручной работы

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Статуя Лаокона и его сыновей

Рост 28см (11 дюймов)
Вес 1.450g

Категоти: Статуи, Скульптуры, Архаика, Греческая римская мифология
Материал: Алебастр

Статуя Лаокона и его сыновей, также называемая Лаокооной группой (итальянская: Gruppo del Laocoonte), была одной из самых известных древних скульптур с тех пор, как она была раскопана в Риме в 1506 году и выставлена на публичную экспозицию в Ватикане, где она и остается. Скорее всего, та же статуя, восхваляемая в высших выражениях главным римским писателем по искусству Плиным Старшим. Цифры близки к размеру в жизни, и группа составляет чуть более 2 м (6 футов 7 дюйма) в высоту, показывая троянский священник Лаокон и его сыновья Антифант и Тимбрей подвергаются нападению морских змей.

Группа была названа «прототипной иконой человеческой агонии» в западном искусстве, и в отличие от агонии, часто изображаемой в христианском искусстве, показывающей Страсть Иисуса и мучеников, это страдание не имеет искупительной силы или награды. Страдания показаны через искривленные выражения лиц (Чарльз Дарвин отметил, что выпуклые брови Лаокона физиологически невозможны), которые соответствуют борющимся телам, особенно у самого Лаокона, при этом каждая часть его тела напрягается.


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An icon of Hellenistic art, the figurative Greek sculpture known as the Laocoon Group, or Laocoon and His Sons, is a monumental statue which is on display at the Museo Pio Clementino, in the Vatican Museums, Rome. It is a marble copy of a bronze sculpture, which - according to the Roman writer Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE) - depicted the Trojan priest Laocoon and his two sons Antiphas and Thymbraeus being killed by giant snakes, as described by the Roman poet Virgil (70 BCE - 19 CE) in his epic poem the Aeneid. The statue, which was seen and revered by Pliny the Elder in the palace of Titus Flavius Vespasianus (39-81 CE), the future Roman Emperor Titus (ruled 79-81), was attributed by Pliny to three sculptors from the Greek island of Rhodes: Hagesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus. This attribution coincides with an inscription on a fragment from other similar marbles discovered separately from the Laocoon itself. Despite persistent uncertainty as to its date and details of its original provenance, Laocoon and His Sons is considered to be one of the greatest works of Greek sculpture of the Hellenistic Period.

The Laocoon statue was discovered in January 1506 buried in the ground of a Rome vineyard owned by Felice de' Fredis. One of the first experts to attend the excavation site was Michelangelo (1475-1564), the famous Renaissance sculptor. Pope Julius II, a lover of Greek art, ordered the work to be brought immediately to the Vatican, where it was installed in the Belvedere Court Garden. Not surprisingly, given Pliny's comment that it was "superior to all works in painting and bronze", the Laocoon statue had a significant impact on Italian Renaissance art in general and Renaissance sculptors, in particular.

In fact, the Laocoon rapidly became one of the most studied, revered and copied works of ancient art ever put on display. Other famous treasures in the Vatican Museums, like Leochares's Belvedere Apollo (c.330 BCE) and Apollonius's heroic Belvedere Torso (1st/2nd Century BCE) were outshone by comparison. Since its discovery in 1506, many copies have been made of the Laocoon, including a bronze version by Baccio Bandinelli (1493-1560), now in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, and a bronze casting, made by Francesco Primaticcio (1504-1570) for the French King Francis I, now at the Louvre in Paris. Other copies can be seen in the Grand Palace of the Knights of Saint John in Rhodes, and at the Archeological Museum of Odessa.

As a result of its enduring fame, the Laocoon statue was removed from the Vatican by Napoleon, in 1799, taken to Paris where it was installed in theL ouvre as an exemplar of Neoclassical art. It was returned to the Vatican in 1816, by the British authorities in Paris, following the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo.

In 1957, sculptural fragments belonging to four marble groups portraying scenes from Homer's epic poem the Odyssey (8th/9th century BCE) were unearthed at Sperlonga, Naples. The site of the discovery was an ancient banquet hall formerly used by the Roman Emperor Tiberius (ruled 14-37 CE). One of the fragments, a bust of Odysseus, is stylistically very similar toLaocoon and His Sons, while the names Hagesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus were inscribed on another fragment.

In 1906, Laocoon's right arm (missing from the original find in 1506) had been discovered by chance in a builder's yard in Rome by the archeologist Ludwig Pollak, director of the Museo Barracco. Believing it might be the lost arm in question, Pollak donated it to the Vatican Museum, where it remained for over fifty years. Then in 1960 museum experts verified that the arm belonged to the Laocoon. Accordingly, the statue was reassembled with the new arm attached.

The Laocoon statue, standing some 8 feet in height, is made from seven interlocking pieces of white marble. Its exact date of creation is uncertain, although - in line with several inscriptions found in Rhodes dating Hagesander and Athenedoros to some time after 42 BCE - experts now believe that it was sculpted between 42-20 BCE. More importantly, it is not known for certain whether it is an original Roman sculpture or a copy of an earlier Greek sculpture. That said, experts now believe that its three sculptors - Hagesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus - were highly-skilled copyists who specialized in producing replicas of original Greek figures for wealthy Roman customers. Thus, in all probability, the Vatican Laocoon is a copy of a Greek Hellenistic bronze - almost certainly from the Pergamon School, see similar drama, straining muscles and contorted faces in the Great Altar of Zeus(c.180 BCE, Pergamon, Turkey). This conclusion is also consistent with the findings of several renovations performed on the statue. Who commissioned the Laocoon replica is not known.

The latest theory, proposed in 2005 by Lynn Catterson, is that the Laocoon is a forgery created in 1506 by Michelangelo. This has been dismissed as "non-credible" by Richard Brilliant, in his book My Laocoon.

As described in Virgil's Aeneid, Laocoon was a Trojan priest. When the Greeks, who were holding Troy under siege, left the famous Trojan Horse on the beach, Laocoon tried to warn the Trojan leaders against bringing it into the city, in case it was a trap. The Greek goddess Athena, acting as protector of the Greeks, punished Laocoon for his interference by having him and his two sons attacked by the giant sea serpents Porces and Chariboea. In the sculpture, one son can be seen to break free from the snakes, and looks across to see his father and brother in their death agonies.

Michelangelo himself was especially impressed by the huge scale of the work, as well as its expressive aesthetics, so typical of Greek sculpture from the Pergamon School of the Hellenistic period. Similar emotive qualities reappear in Michelangelo's own works, such as Dying Slave (1513-16, Marble, Louvre, Paris). But see also David by Donatello (1440s) for an Early Renaissance interpretation of the standing male nude, and David by Michelangelo (1504) for a High Renaissance interpretation.

The emotionalism in Laocoon and His Sons was highly influential on laterBaroque sculpture (c.1600-1700) as well as Neoclassical sculptors (c.1770-1830). The German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-68) saw the statue as the embodiment of Neoclassical nobility and heroicism, although he admitted the inherent difficulty - for any observer of Laocoon - of appreciating beauty in a scene of death. Winckelmann's comments were afterwards adopted by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, in his influential treatiseLaokoon (1766).

All in all, the statue has retained a continuing fascination for succeeding generations of sculptors: a phenomenon brought fully up to date by the 2006 Vatican exhibition, marking the 500th anniversary of its discovery, and the 2007 exhibition held at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds (UK), entitledTowards a New Laocoon.

This object is part of "Scan The World". Scan the World is a non-profit initiative introduced by MyMiniFactory, through which we are creating a digital archive of fully 3D printable sculptures, artworks and landmarks from across the globe for the public to access for free. Scan the World is an open source, community effort, if you have interesting items around you and would like to contribute, email [email protected] to find out how you can help.

Scanned : Photogrammetry (Processed using Agisoft PhotoScan)

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Покупайте на Etsy — вносите свой вклад в доброе дело.

Мы не просто торговая площадка для необычных вещей, мы сообщество людей, которые заботятся о малом бизнесе, людях и нашей планете.

Мы не просто торговая площадка для необычных вещей, мы сообщество людей, которые заботятся о малом бизнесе, людях и нашей планете.

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СДЕЛАНО В ГРЕЦИИ - РУЧНОЙ РАБОТЫ
твердые и тяжелые

Размеры (приблизительно) :
Рост : 28 см (11 в)
Ширина: 17,5 см (6,9 дюйма)
Глубина: 8,5 см (3,35 дюйма)

Материал: Литой мрамор
Литые мраморные статуи сделаны из композитного материала, в котором натуральный измельченный греческий мраморный камень смешивается с небольшим количеством смолы, которая работает как клей. Затем смесь выливается в форму дизайна статуи. Поскольку порошок настолько хорош, мелкие детали могут быть воспроизведены с помощью этого метода. Более 90% готовой скульптуры является естественным дробленым греческим мраморным камнем, который придает ему вид из твердого натурального мрамора. Все скульптуры закончены вручную, чтобы обеспечить лучшее качество.

Пожалуйста, обратите внимание: наши статуи не вырезаны. 100% Натуральные мраморные статуи ручной резьбой и команда очень здоровенная цена. Наши предложения продукции предназначены для того, чтобы быть доступными для большинства населения.

Наша статуя основана на скульптуре «Лаокон и его сыновья», также называемой Лаокон группой », которая была одной из самых известных древних скульптур с тех пор, как она была раскопана в Риме в 1506 году и выставлена на публичную экспозицию в Ватикане, где она и остается. Цифры близки к размеру в жизни, и группа составляет чуть более 2 м (6 футов 7 дюйма) в высоту, показывая троянский священник Лаокон и его сыновья Антифант и Тимбрей подвергаются нападению морских змей.

Профессиональная упаковка - Мы принимаем дополнительную осторожность в безопасной упаковке наших хрупких предметов для обеспечения безопасной доставки.

Мы отправляем по всему миру из Греции, 12-48 часов после оплаты (не включает Сб, Солнце или праздники), через греческую почтовую службу для всех международных пакетов. Все пакеты включают номера отслеживания.


Покупайте на Etsy — вносите свой вклад в доброе дело.

Мы не просто торговая площадка для необычных вещей, мы сообщество людей, которые заботятся о малом бизнесе, людях и нашей планете.

Мы не просто торговая площадка для необычных вещей, мы сообщество людей, которые заботятся о малом бизнесе, людях и нашей планете.

Read the full description

СДЕЛАНО В ГРЕЦИИ - РУЧНОЙ РАБОТЫ
твердые и тяжелые

Размеры (приблизительно) :
Рост : 28 см (11 в)
Ширина: 17,5 см (6,9 дюйма)
Глубина: 8,5 см (3,35 дюйма)

Материал: Литой мрамор
Литые мраморные статуи сделаны из композитного материала, в котором натуральный измельченный греческий мраморный камень смешивается с небольшим количеством смолы, которая работает как клей. Затем смесь выливается в форму дизайна статуи. Поскольку порошок настолько хорош, мелкие детали могут быть воспроизведены с помощью этого метода. Более 90% готовой скульптуры является естественным дробленым греческим мраморным камнем, который придает ему вид из твердого натурального мрамора. Все скульптуры закончены вручную, чтобы обеспечить лучшее качество.

Пожалуйста, обратите внимание: наши статуи не вырезаны. 100% Натуральные мраморные статуи ручной резьбой и команда очень здоровенная цена. Наши предложения продукции предназначены для того, чтобы быть доступными для большинства населения.

Наша статуя основана на скульптуре «Лаокон и его сыновья», также называемой Лаокон группой », которая была одной из самых известных древних скульптур с тех пор, как она была раскопана в Риме в 1506 году и выставлена на публичную экспозицию в Ватикане, где она и остается. Цифры близки к размеру в жизни, и группа составляет чуть более 2 м (6 футов 7 дюйма) в высоту, показывая троянский священник Лаокон и его сыновья Антифант и Тимбрей подвергаются нападению морских змей.

Профессиональная упаковка - Мы принимаем дополнительную осторожность в безопасной упаковке наших хрупких предметов для обеспечения безопасной доставки.

Мы отправляем по всему миру из Греции, 12-48 часов после оплаты (не включает Сб, Солнце или праздники), через греческую почтовую службу для всех международных пакетов. Все пакеты включают номера отслеживания.


Victor Travel Blog

The Laocoon Group sculpture in the Vatican Museums. Rome, Italy.

The Laocoon sculpture is a perfectly performed Death itself. I was a child when I first saw this statue. I did not realize its value. I just looked at the beautiful bodies of a grandfather and his grandchildren. Oh yes, I did not know it was the Trojan priest Laocoon and his sons, Antiphantes and Thymbraeus. If there is a beard, then he must be an old man, period! But this old man was in such perfect physical condition that I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I guess the ancient Greeks knew some kind of secret of getting into such a shape and keeping it without using the steroids that we need nowadays in order to recreate such an appearance.

This is the only statue that in my childhood I failed to draw successfully from the catalogue due to the huge amount of detail. It was much easier with Venus de Milo or Apollo sculptures. And now just imagine how much effort it took to cut it out from a solid marble block. As I learned later, there were two blocks, but still, does it make the process easier?

Venus de Milo. Louvre Museum, Paris, France.

The Apollo Belvedere or Apollo of the Belvedere. The Vatican Museums, Rome, Italy.

I was 12 or 13 years old when our parents brought my brother and me to Hermitage, the museum in St. Petersburg, and I saw the real–as I thought–statue of Laocoon. The famous ancient sculpture was unbelievably huge and absolutely alive. Seems it was changing right in front of your eyes if you watched it riveted and then closed your eyes and opened them again. But I still did not realize that in fact this sculpture symbolized an awful death.

To compare it to modern times, it’s just as if someone created a statue demonstrating the death of a Jewish family in a gas chamber in the fascist Auschwitz concentration camp, but it was beyond my childish understanding back then. I kept trying to understand how they could cut it out from a stone. How did those three geniuses from Rhodes–Agesander, Athenodoros, and Polydorus–draw this scene out in their minds or on a paper, or maybe on the marble block itself? But this image would be two-dimensional, and the result would become three-dimensional.

If you ask me what really remained in my childhood memory after visiting Hermitage in St. Petersburg, I would say: Laocoon with his sons, and black Atlantes outside the Hermitage supporting the roof of the Winter Palace gallery. As you see, in both cases it is about the powerful, well-muscled bodies of real men. I guess even at that time, there was a sleeping fitness-coach inside of me which awakened only at the age of 29.

Now, 40 years later, I am standing in front of the original statue of the Laocoön group in the small sculpture court of the Belvedere museum in the Vatican. Oh God, the statue is so small! I remember the huge and powerful one.

It’s just because the boy has grown up, but the statue has not.

Laocoon and his sons statue. Winter Palace, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Laocoon and his sons statue in the Palazzo Grimani. Venice, Italy.

When, after ten years of siege, the ancient Greeks despaired of conquering the city of Troy, they decided to use a trick: they built a huge wooden horse and hid a troop of well-armed warriors inside it, while they themselves boarded a ship and left Troy. The Trojans’ happiness knew no bounds. They had won, the siege was lifted, and the enemies had retreated leaving a souvenir for them. So, immediately, it had to be dragged into the city, even if a part of the defensive wall needed to be demolished for that.

Kind of ridiculous, isn’t it? Can you imagine if after 800 days of the Leningrad siege, the Hitlerites unexpectedly went away, having left a huge, beautifully painted panzer as a present to the defenders of the city? And what is more beyond belief, the happy citizens of Leningrad dragged this panzer into their city without even taking a look inside?!

However, it happened that there was at least one person in Troy who stayed in his right mind–the priest Laocoön. He ferociously protested against taking this “gift” into the city, assuming there was something dangerous inside it, presaging the disaster to the whole city in the end. But he did not know that the fall of Troy was expected by more powerful forces than a troop of Greeks who wanted only to ravage the rich city on the pretext of releasing the “captured” Helen of Troy.

As soon as Laocoon got to the seashore together with his sons in order to make sacrifice to the gods in hopes of averting the disasters, those same gods, in the person of Athena set two sea serpents on them. Those snakes wrapped themselves around their bodies and started to strangle and tear them apart. This very moment was captured by Agesander, Athenodoros, and Polydorus in their immortal creation of art–the moment of the death of Laocoon and his family.

We can only rejoice that Laocoon and his sons were going to perform the sacrificial ritual absolutely naked, which would in reality be inherently out of the question. However, had it not been for this creative urge of the authors to implement the Greek fairytale into the marble, we might never have seen the paragon of the masculine figure of two generations.

Laocoon and his sons statue in the Palazzo Grimani. Venice, Italy.

But we need to get back to history here.

Initially the sculpture of Laocoon was cast in bronze, and later copied in the marble version. The bronze statue did not survive as the metal was highly valued, and obviously this work of art could have been melted down for some other needs. The marble copy has survived to modern times, and if it is worse than the original, then I just can’t imagine how it could have looked in bronze.

Pliny the Elder thought this sculptural composition was the best among all embodiments of Laocoon’s theme however, it had also been lost until 1506 when an Italian villager suddenly discovered it in his own garden. Experts who were called upon identified it as the statue described by Pliny the Elder. By the way, Michelangelo Buonarroti was one of those experts.

Pope Giulio proposed that Michelangelo recreate the missing arms of Laocoon and his younger son, but the master refused. At first glance it seems to be a rather strange decision. Such a proposal means fame and money. The master found an elegant excuse: My skill cannot be compared to the talents of the ancient Greeks.

Well, it can, dear maestro, it surely can, but probably there had been some other grounds. I assume it could be the unwillingness to work the masterpieces of other artists, because this statue would never be called the “Laocoon by Michelangelo,” but every single piece of your art should bear only your name.

The Laocoon’s missing arm was recreated by one of Michelangelo’s students, and all subsequent copies have been created with a right hand extended upwards. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, the original arm was unexpectedly found in Italy and it turned out to be bent back! It makes us wonder: Did Michelangelo know or feel something when he rejected the proposal to create the new right arm of Laocoon?

With or without the arm, the death scene of the father and two of his sons has become one of the greatest creations of world art, exerting a massive impact on the oeuvre of many further generations of artists.


Laocoön

Laocoön, a Trojan prince, brother of Anchises and priest of Apollo Thymbraeus or Poseidon. Of his story as told by Arctinus ( Iliu Persis see epic cycle), Bacchylides, and Sophocles ( Laocoön ), we know little. In the standard version (Verg. Aen. 2. 40–56, 199–231 Apollod. Epit. 5. 17–18), he protested against drawing the Wooden Horse (see epeius (2) ) within the walls of Troy, and two great serpents coming over the sea from the island of Tenedos killed him and his two sons (so Euphorion ( 2 ) in Arctinus, Laocoön and one son in Bacchylides, Sophocles, Apollodorus ( 6 ), and Quintus Smyrnaeus (12. 444–97), only the sons). According to Hyginus ( Fab. 135. 1) the serpents were sent by Apollo to punish him for having married in spite of his priesthood, in Quintus Smyrnaeus and Virgil, by Athena on account of his hostility to the Horse.

In art, Laocoön is the subject of the famous marble group in the Vatican showing father and sons in their death-agony. It was made by three Rhodian sculptors (see hagesander, athenodorus, and polydorus). The group was exhibited in the palace of Titus, and was said by Pliny ( 1 ) ( HN 36. 37) to have surpassed all other works of painting and sculpture. The death of Laocoön is shown on two wall-paintings from Pompeii, and late Imperial gems. Two south Italian vases show Laocoön as devotee of Apollo Thymbraeus.


Watch the video: 3D Sculpt Laocoon Group (May 2022).