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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Laocoon and his Sons the narrative

The statue of Laocoön and His Sons is a monumental sculpture in marble now in the Vatican Museums, Rome。
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.
Laocoön was killed after attempting to expose the ruse of the Trojan Horse by striking it with a spear. The Trojans believed the snakes were sent by Athena orPoseidon and were interpreted by the them as proof that the horse was a sacred object. The most famous account of these events is in Virgil's Aeneid。
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.
The statue was probably originally commissioned for the home of a wealthy Roman. It was unearthed in 1506 (incidentally 2 years before Michaelangelo started the painting of the Sistine Chapel) near the site of the Domus Aurea of the Emperor Nero, in the vineyard of Felice De Fredis. Informed of the fact, Pope Julius II, an enthusiastic classicist, acquired and placed it in the Belvedere Garden at the Vatican, now part of the Vatican Museums.

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