No. D 200
Date Range: 1st century BC
H. 1,84 m
Material: Marble
Collection: Rome, Vatican Museums

  • General view of Laocoon and his sons
  • Head of Laocoon
  • Snakebite

The late-Hellenistic creation is generally seen as an "Allegory for the fall of Troy". It shows the Apollo-priest Laocoon and his sons in the struggle against the god send snakes. This is the punishment for Laocoon, because he warned the Trojans not to pull the wooden horse into the city. The flexuous, twisted body and the distorted facial features of Laocoon show agony, pain and desperation, which give the sculpture a tragic expression. The intensity of the attack reflects the dangerousness of the beasts sent by Athena. While the younger son has opened his mouth for the last scream, his father is still struggling in this hopeless fight. At the same time it seems that the older son still has a slight chance to save himself from the snakes.

(M.S.)

Bibliography

B. Andreae, Kulturgeschichte der antiken Welt. Laokoon und die Gründung Roms3 (Mainz 1988)
W. Fuchs, Die Skulpturen der Griechen4 (München 1993) 380-381 Abb. 218
S. Muth, Laokoon, in: L. Giuliani (Hrsg.), Meisterwerke der antiken Kunst (München 2005) 72-93

Collections > Permanent Exhibition > Cast Collection > Greek Casts > Laocoon and his sons