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Laocoon and his Sons

Listed under Works of Art in Rome, Italy.

  • Photo of Laocoon and his Sons
  • Photo of Laocoon and his Sons
Photo of Laocoon and his Sons
Photo by flickr user jmax@flickr
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This white marble sculpture, attributed to Rhodian sculptors Agesander, Athenodoros, and Polydorus and re-discovered in in 1506, is a famous depiction of a scene from Vergil's Aeneid. Laocoon angered the gods twice; by his breaking imposed celibacy to father children, and then for attempting to expose the ploy of the Trojan Horse. Punishment came in the form of sea serpents, sent by the gods to crush and strangle Laocoon and his sons. Found with a missing limb, the statue bore an interpretive replacement until the 1950's when the original was miraculously recovered and restored. The sculpture, dated from between 42 and 20 BC, is on display at the Vatican Museum.

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Written by  Amber Due.

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Masterpiece

Inspiration for the likes of Michelangelo, Laocoon and his Sons is a 1st or 2nd century white marble masterpiece that shows a priest and his sons struggling with sea serpents that are trying to kill them. Ancient Greek writers describe Laocoon as trying to reveal the true, devious nature of the Trojan Horse and accordingly being struck down by the gods who favored the Trojans. With its intense portrayal of physical pain, the sculpture has been acclaimed by many as being of the best works of art ever produced, sparking debate over the definition of ideal art.

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