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Bust - Laocoon
  • Laocoon
    Wilton, Joseph R.A., born 1722 - died 1803
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  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1758 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wilton, Joseph R.A., born 1722 - died 1803 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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. In this example by Wilton, only the head of the central figure of Laocoon has been executed. It would have been a suitable item for a domestic setting. The original antique marble group is in the Vatican Museums, in Rome.

Physical description

Head of Laocoon looking to the left.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


1758 (dated)


Wilton, Joseph R.A., born 1722 - died 1803 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 61 cm

Object history note

Purchased by Dr Hildburgh F.S.A. from the dealer Arthur Einstein for £12 at an unknown date. Given by Dr. Hildburgh in 1949.

Descriptive line

Bust, marble, Laocoon, by Joseph Wilton, after the antique prototype, Britain, dated 1758

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

Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470-2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, p. 162, cat.no 218
Owsley, D. and Rieder, W., The Glass Drawing Room from Northumberland House, London, 1974, pl. 5



Subjects depicted



Portraits; Myths & Legends; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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