What Is Laocoön And His Sons?

Laocoön And His Sons
Laocoön And His Sons

What Is The Meaning Of Laocoön And His Sons?

Laocoön and His Sons exemplify realistic movement in sculpture. Laocoön and His Sons furiously strive to extricate themselves from the clutches of serpents. However, no matter how much Laocoön and His Sons strain and fight, they remain entangled in the serpent’s grasp in a struggle to the death. Laocoön and His Sons have become the icon of human agony in Western Art.

Why Did Athena Killed Laocoön And His Two Sons?

According to legend, Laocoon and his sons were killed as a punishment from Athena or Poseidon for warning the Trojans about the wooden horse. This is the rationale offered in Virgil’s Aeneid, an epic written by the Roman poet. However, according to other traditions, Apollo sent the serpents to slay Laocoon as a punishment for breaking his vow to the deity not to marry or have children.

The tale of Laocoön revolves around the themes of misinterpretation and godly wrath. The Trojans misread the Greeks’ motives when they hand them the horse. When sea serpents murder Laocoön, the Trojans misinterpret his death as a portent to disregard his warning against the Greeks. Out of vengeance, one of the gods murders Laocoön. Either for disclosing the Greeks’ scheme or for otherwise offending the gods. Laocoön’s death foreshadows the fall of Troy.

What Does Laocoön And His Sons Portray?

Since its excavation in Rome and its remains in the Vatican in 1506, the statue of Laocoon and its Sons, also called Laocoön Group (Italian: Gruppo della laocoon) has been one of the most famous ancient sculptures. It is probably the same statue that the main Roman author on arts, Pliny the Elder, praised in the highest terms. The figures are about 2 m high and show the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus, who were attacked by sea snakes, are somewhat larger.

In Western art, it was called “the prototypical icon of human agony” so this suffering has no redemptive power or reward, as opposed to that often depicted in Christian art, which displays the Passion of Jesus or the Martyrs. They illustrate the suffering in the distorted expressions of the faces (Charles Darwin pointed out the physiologically impossible bulging eyebrows of Laocoön) which are combined with each part of his body, especially that of Laocoön himself.

Then, in the palace of Emperor Titus, Pline attributes the work to three Greek sculptors on Rhodes Island: Agesander, Athenodoros, and Polydorus, but it does not date and patronize the island. It is considered in style “one of the finest examples of the Hellenistic baroque” and in Greek tradition, however, it is not known if it is original, or a copy of the earlier bronze sculpture or made for a commission in Greece or Romance. While many still see it as a copied piece of such work, probably made during early Imperial times, as of a bronze original, it is now a work of the 2nd century BC.

Others probably see this as a later-day original work that continued to use the Pergamonian style of two centuries before. In either case, the home of a rich Roman, possibly the Imperial family, was probably commissioned. They suggested different dates, ranging from approximately 200 BC to 1970 AD, although “a Julio-Claudian date (between 27 BC and 68 AD), is preferred”.

Although most of the sculptures were excavated in excellent condition, there are still several pieces missing, and analyzes show that it was restructured in ancient times and since excavation has undergone several restorations. In the Pio-Clementino Museum, part of Vatican Museums where it is on display.

What Is The Story Of Laocoon And His Sons?

The story of Laocoon, a Trojan priest, originated from the Greek Epic Cycle during the Trojan Wars. Sophocles had suffered a tragedy, now lost, and other Greek authors mentioned it, although the events around the serpent attack vary considerably. The most famous account of these dates from between the years of 29 and 19 BC and is perhaps later than the sculpture in Virgil’s Aeneid. Some scholars, however, regard the group as a representation of the scene Virgil described.

The Posedeidon priest Laocoön in Virgil died, having tried to expose the Trojan Horse’s ruse with a spear, with both his children. On the other hand, in Sophocles, he was an Apollo priest who had supposedly been celibate, but who had married. Only the two sons have been killed by the serpents, leaving Laocoon alive. In other versions, he was killed because he had sex with his wife in Poseidon’s temple or just had a sacrifice with his wife present in the temple. The snakes were sent by Posedon in the second group and, in the first group, by Poseidon and Athena or Apollo. The trojans interpreted deaths as proof of the sacred object of the horse. Both versions have quite different morals: Laocoön is punished because he is wrong or because he is right.

The snakes, both biting and narrowing, are likely to be as venomous as in Virgil. Thought like that, Pietro Aretino praised the group in 1537:

“…the two serpents, in attacking the three figures, produce the most striking semblances of fear, suffering and death. The youth embraced in the coils is fearful; the old man struck by the fangs is in torment; the child who has received the poison, dies.”

Pietro Aretino

The older son can escape in at least one Greek storytelling, and the composition seems to allow for that.

Laocoon And His Sons Backstory

Many people in ancient Greece believed in the power of seers and oracles. It was thought that seers could interact with the gods. The story of Laocoön may have served as a reminder to listen to seers and oracles. The story also confirms the unique abilities of people who converse with the gods. The residents of Troy ignored Laocoön’s warning and ultimately lost the Trojan War as a result.

Toward the close of the Trojan War, the Greeks placed a giant wooden horse in front of Troy’s gates. Laocoon marked it with a spear and cautioned the Trojans not to bring the horse inside the city. “I fear the Greeks even when they offer gifts,” he added. Soon after, the Trojans demanded that Laocoon sacrifice a bull to the god Poseidon.

Two enormous serpents came from the water and crushed Laocoon and his kids to death while he was performing the sacrifice near the sea. This occurrence was viewed by the Trojans as a sign of the gods’ displeasure of Laocoon’s forecast. They subsequently brought the horse into town. This action resulted in their demise. Greek troops hid inside the horse and crept out at night to unlock the gates of Troy, allowing the Greek army to invade and destroy the city.

What Does Laocoon Mean?

Laocoon was a seer in Greek and Roman mythology. A priest of the deity Apollo and a foreteller of the future in the ancient city of Troy. He played an important role in the final days of the Trojan War and was killed along with his twin sons, Antiphantes and Thymbraeus.

A Trojan priest, Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus, who were attacked by sea snakes after warning the Trojans against the wooden horse.

Venus de Milo Statue by Alexandros of Antioch – The statue was given the name Venus de Milo in honor of Aphrodite’s Roman name, Venus, as well as the Greek island of Milos, where it was unearthed.

Why is Modern Art Considered Trash? – Modern art is frequently contrasted with other artistic forms difficult to grasp and is regarded wasteful. Contemporary art gets increasingly difficult to grasp with the departure of conventional styles. When looking on abstract items or lines on the plane, it’s difficult to determine what the artist intended. Moreover, some contemporary artists fool about often.

Why Is Modern Art Very Difficult To Understand? – Because there are two aspects to “viewing” Modern Art, it is difficult to comprehend. Visual and linguistic components are used in modern art. Your mind tries to convert the “visual” to the “verbal” in all forms of art.

Are Many Modern Artists Lazy Or Lacking Talent? – Modern artists are frequently criticized for being slackers or lacking in skill. Modern painters sometimes appear lethargic or unskilled to the untrained eye. Modern artists, on the other hand, are far from slackers or untalented.

Why Does Modern Art Tend To Look So Abstract? – Because the artist employs their imagination, materials, and techniques to express their vision in ways that past traditions have rejected, modern art has an abstract look.

By Hagesandros, Athenedoros, and Polydoros – LivioAndronico (2014), CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36412978
By Agesander, Athenedoros and Polydorus – Marie-Lan Nguyen (2009), CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9008382
By Photograph: User:Jastrow (2003)Auteur : Jastrow – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=112871
By I, Sailko, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9945915
By Wknight94 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6632905
By Gentil Hibou – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11579619