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Group - Laocoon and his Sons

Laocoon and his Sons

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    17th century to 18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 117, case 4

This group depicts Laocoon and his sons being killed by serpents. Laocoon was a Trojan priest who warned the Trojans against bringing the wooden horse of the Greeks into their city. By interfering with the natural course of events he incurred the wrath of the gods, who sent sea-serpents to kill him and his two sons. In 1506 the antique marble group Laocoon and His Sons was discovered in Rome and was immediately celebrated for its technical mastery and for the intense emotion it conveyed. Artists took inspiration from the group and produced their own versions in various forms. The original antique marble group is in the Vatican Museums, in Rome.

Physical description

Bronze group depicting Laocoon and his sons, after the antique. Laocoon, seated on a square pedestal between his two sons, attacked by the serpents.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


17th century to 18th century (made)



Materials and Techniques



Height: 30.5 cm, Width: 27.2 cm, Depth: 12.5 cm

Object history note

From the Salting bequest.

Descriptive line

Group, bronze, depicting Laocoon and his sons, after the famous antique original, Italy, 17th -18th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Renaissance bronzes from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London : Renaissance bronzes and related drawings from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford / organized by the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
di Bretschneider, L'Erma. Laocoonte Alle Origini dei Musei Vaticani. Exhibition catalogue for the 400 year anniversary of the Museum, Rome, Museo Vaticani, 2006
'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 9
Stiegemann, Christoph, Wunder Roms Im Blick des Nordens von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, exh. cat., 2017, pp.421-422, cat. 89.



Subjects depicted

Serpents (animal)


Sculpture; Myths & Legends


Sculpture Collection

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