|Laocoön and His Sons|
|Between 160 BC and 20 BC|
|Vatican City, Vatican Museums|
The statue of Laocoön and His Sons, also called the Laocoön Group, is a monumental marble sculpture now in the Vatican Museums, Rome. Year 20 BC was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Julian calendar. Marble is a nonfoliated Metamorphic rock resulting from the Metamorphism of Limestone, composed mostly of Calcite (a crystalline form of Vatican City, officially the State of the Vatican City (Stato della Città del Vaticano is a Landlocked sovereign City-state whose territory The Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani in Viale Vaticano in Rome, inside the Vatican City, are one of the greatest museums in the world since they display works Marble sculpture is the Art of creating three-dimensional forms from marble The Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani in Viale Vaticano in Rome, inside the Vatican City, are one of the greatest museums in the world since they display works Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 The statue is attributed by the Roman author Pliny the Elder to three sculptors from the island of Rhodes: Agesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus. A statue is a Sculpture in the round representing a person or persons an animal or an event normally full-length as opposed to a bust, and at least close to life-size Gaius or Caius Plinius Secundus, ( AD 23 – August 25, AD 79 better known as Pliny the Elder, was an ancient Author Rhodes (Ρόδος Ródos, ˈɾo̞ðo̞s Rodi ردوس Rodos; Ladino: Rodi or Rodes) is a Greek island "Agesander" redirects here For other uses of this name see Agesander (disambiguation. Athenodoros or Athenodorus was the name of several figures in the ancient Hellenistic world Athenodoros of Kleitor (fl late 5th-early 4th century BCE It shows the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being strangled by sea serpents.
The story of Laocoön had been the subject of a now lost play by Sophocles, and was mentioned by other Greek writers. Sophocles (ˈsɒfəkliːz Ancient Greek, sopʰoklɛ̂ːs circa Laocoön was killed after attempting to expose the ruse of the Trojan Horse by striking it with a spear. The Trojan Horse was part of the Trojan War, as told in Virgil 's Latin Epic poem The Aeneid. The snakes were sent either by Apollo or Poseidon, and were interpreted by the Trojans as proof that the horse was a sacred object. In Greek mythology, Poseidon ( Greek:; Latin: Neptūnus) was the god of the Sea and as "Earth-Shaker" The most famous account of these events is in Virgil's Aeneid (See the Aeneid quotation at the entry Laocoön), but this very probably dates from after the sculpture was made. Publius Vergilius Maro ( October 15, 70 BCE &ndash September 21, 19 BCE later called Virgilius, and known in English as Virgil or For the group of nine Ancient Egyptian deities see Ennead. The Aeneid (əˈniːɪd in
Various dates have been suggested for the statue, ranging from about 160 to about 20 BC. 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. Lindos (in Greek, Λίνδος) is a town and an archaeological site on the east coast of the Greek Island of Rhodes
The statue, which was probably originally commissioned for the home of a wealthy Roman, was unearthed in 1506 near the site of the Golden House of the Emperor Nero (who reigned from 54 to 68 AD), and it is possible that the statue belonged to Nero himself. The Domus Aurea ( Latin for "Golden House" was a large landscaped portico Villa, designed to take advantage of artificially created landscapes Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus ( December 15, 37 – June 9, 68) born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, also called The statue was also exhibited in the palace of Titus. Titus Flavius Vespasianus, commonly known as Titus ( December 30 39 &ndash September 13 81) was a Roman Emperor who  It was acquired by Pope Julius II, an enthusiastic classicist, soon after its discovery and was placed in the Belvedere Garden at the Vatican, now part of the Vatican Museums. Pope Julius II (5 December 1443 &ndash 21 February 1513 born Giuliano Della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513
When the statue was discovered, Laocoön's right arm was missing, along with part of the hand of one child and the right arm of the other. Artists and connoisseurs debated how the missing parts should be interpreted. Michelangelo suggested that the missing right arms were originally bent back over the shoulder. Others, however, believed it was more appropriate to show the right arms extended outwards in a heroic gesture. The Pope held an informal contest among sculptors to make replacement right arms, which was judged by Raphael. Raphael Sanzio, usually known by his first name alone (in Italian Raffaello) (April 6 or March 28 1483 – April 6 1520 was an Italian painter and The winner, in the outstretched position, was attached to the statue.
In 1957, however, the original right arm of Laocoön himself, with a snake coiled about his wrist, was found by L. Pollack in a builder's yard in Rome, and was in the position which had been suggested by Michelangelo. The arm has now been rejoined to the statue. The restored portions of the children's arm and hand were removed. In the course of disassembly breaks and cuttings and metal tenons and dowel holes have suggested that a more compact, three-dimensional pyramidal grouping of the three figures was contemplated or used in Antiquity before subsequent ancient and Renaissance restorations were made; the more open, planographic composition along a plane, familiar in the Laocoön group as restored, has been interpreted as "apparently the result of serial reworkings by Roman Imperial as well as Renaissance and modern craftsmen"
There are many copies of the statue, including a well-known one in the Grand Palace of the Knights of St. John in Rhodes. The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is a palace in the town of Rhodes, on the island of Rhodes in Greece. The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta (known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta ( SMOM) Order of Malta Rhodes (Ρόδος Ródos, ˈɾo̞ðo̞s Rodi ردوس Rodos; Ladino: Rodi or Rodes) is a Greek island Many still show the arm in the outstretched position. The copy in Rhodes has been corrected.
The discovery of the Laocoön made a great impression on Italian sculptors and significantly influenced the course of Italian Renaissance art. The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 14th Michelangelo is known to have been particularly impressed by the massive scale of the work and its sensuous Hellenistic aesthetic, particularly its depiction of the male figures. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni Two biographies were published of him during his lifetime One of them by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that he was the pinnacle of all This article focuses on the cultural aspects of the Hellenistic age for the historical aspects see Hellenistic period. The influence of the Laocoön is evidenced in many of Michelangelo's later works, such as the Rebellious Slave and the Dying Slave, created for the tomb of Pope Julius II. The Dying Slave is a sculpture by the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo. Pope Julius II (5 December 1443 &ndash 21 February 1513 born Giuliano Della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513 The tragic nobility of this statue is one of the themes in Gotthold Lessing's essay on literature and aesthetics, Laokoön, one of the early classics of art criticism. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing ( 22 January, 1729 15 February, 1781) was a German Writer, Philosopher, Dramatist Aesthetics or esthetics ( also spelled æsthetics) is commonly known as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values sometimes called
The Florentine sculptor Baccio Bandinelli was commissioned to make a copy by Pope Leo X de' Medici. Florence ( Italian: Firenze Florentia and Fiorenza) is the Capital City of the Italian region of Tuscany Bartolommeo (or Baccio Bandinelli, actually Bartolommeo Brandini ( October 17, 1493 &ndash shortly before February 7, 1560) Pope Leo X, born Giovanni de' Medici (December 11 1475 – December 1 1521 was Pope from 1513 to his death Bandinelli's version, which was often copied and distributed in small bronzes, is at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence (see here). The Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi one of the oldest and most famous Art Museums in the world is housed in the Palazzo degli Uffizi, a A bronze casting, made for François I at Fontainebleau from a mold taken from the original under the supervision of Primaticcio, is at the Musée du Louvre. The Palace of Fontainebleau, located 345 miles from the centre of Paris, is one of the largest French royal Châteaux The palace as it is today is the work of many Francesco Primaticcio ( April 30, 1504 &ndash 1570 was an Italian Mannerist painter, Architect and sculptor The Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre located in Paris is the world's most visited art museum a historic monument and a national museum of France
A woodcut, possibly after a drawing by Titian, parodied the sculpture by portraying three apes instead of humans. Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c 1485 &ndash August 27 1576 better known as Titian, was the leading painter of the 16th-century Venetian It has often been interpreted as a satire on the clumsiness of Bandinelli's copy, but it has also been suggested that it was a commentary on debates of the time about similarities between human and ape anatomy. 
The original was seized and taken to Paris by Napoléon Bonaparte after his conquest of Italy in 1799, and installed in a place of honour in the Musée Napoléon at the Louvre, where it was one of the inspirations of neoclassicism in French art. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821 was a French military and political leader who had a significant impact on the History of Europe. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest The Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre located in Paris is the world's most visited art museum a historic monument and a national museum of France The Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre located in Paris is the world's most visited art museum a historic monument and a national museum of France Neoclassicism (sometimes rendered as Neo-Classicism or Neo-classicism) is the name given to quite distinct movements in the decorative and Following the fall of Napoléon, it was returned by the British to the Vatican in 1816.
Pliny's description of Laocoön as "a work to be preferred to all that the arts of painting and sculpture have produced" has led to a tradition which debates this claim that the sculpture is the greatest of all artworks. Johann Joachim Winkelmann wrote about the paradox of admiring beauty while seeing a scene of death and failure. Johann Joachim Winckelmann ( December 9, 1717 - June 8, 1768) a German Art historian and Archaeologist, The most influential contribution to the debate in Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's essay Laocoon: An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry, which examines the differences between visual and literary art by comparing the sculpture with Virgil's verse. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing ( 22 January, 1729 15 February, 1781) was a German Writer, Philosopher, Dramatist He argues that the artists could not realistically depict the physical suffering of the victims, as this would be too painful. Instead, they had to express suffering while retaining beauty.
The most unusual intervention in the debate is William Blake's annotated print Laocoön, which surrounds the image with graffiti-like commentary in several languages, written in multiple directions. William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827 was an English poet, painter, and Printmaker. Blake presents the sculpture as a mediocre copy of a lost Israelite original, describing it as "Jehovah & his two Sons Satan & Adam as they were copied from the Cherubim Of Solomons Temple by three Rhodians & applied to Natural Fact or History of Ilium".  This reflects Blake's theory that the imitation of ancient Greek and Roman art was destructive to the creative imagination, and that Classical sculpture represented a banal naturalism in contrast to Judeo-Christian spiritual art.
In 1940 Clement Greenberg wrote an essay entitled Towards a Newer Laocoön in which he argued that abstract art now provided an ideal for artists to measure their work against, and this title was copied by a 2007 exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute which exibited work by modern artists influenced by the sculpture. Clement Greenberg ( January 16, 1909 - May 7, 1994) was an influential American The Henry Moore Foundation is a Registered charity in England, established for education and promotion of the Fine arts &mdash in particular to advance