Laocoön Group Analysis

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The Laocoön group, otherwise known as Laocoön and His Sons, is widely considered to be the one of most famous pieces of Hellenistic art. It is a marble copy of a bronze sculpture that according to the Roman writer Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE) depicts the Trojan priest Laocoön and his two sons, Antiphas and Thymbraeus, being killed by giant serpents as described in the epic poem Aeneid by the Roman poet Virgil (70 BCE - 19 CE). In accordance with the poem, Laocoön was believed to be a priest of either Poseidon or Apollo in Troy. Leading up to his subsequent execution, Laocoön adamantly opposed the acceptance of the Trojan horse from the Greeks only to be disregarded and dismissed by his own people. In a fit of rage, Laocoön threw a spear at the…show more content…
As seen by the engraving (figure 1) the missing parts include the right arm of the father and the right arm of the younger son, the older son’s right hand, and some of the snake’s coils. Contrary to the minimalist approach that defines current restoration methods, the arrival of the Laocoön group in the Belvedere Courtyard ignited a series of attempts to restore it in order to propel the group towards its full aesthetic…show more content…
Michelangelo, having been a part in the group’s excavation, was asked to restore it but declined “because he found he could do nothing worthy of so admirable a piece.” It should be noted that while Michelangelo did not take part in the restoration of the Laocoön group, he did draw inspiration from the piece. This can be seen in a variety of his works with the most famous being the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Michelangelo implemented a similar muscular structure into the human figures painted on the ceiling, placing them in serpentine positions that resemble the central figure in the Laocoön
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