Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 117

Laocoon and his Sons

Group
17th century to 18th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Bronze
Brief Description
Group, bronze, depicting Laocoon and his sons, after the famous antique original, Italy, 17th -18th century
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.
Dimensions
  • Height: 30.5cm
  • Width: 27.2cm
  • Depth: 12.5cm
Credit line
Salting Bequest
Object history
From the Salting bequest.
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.
Bibliographic References
  • 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
  • Buranelli, Francesco et al (eds.), Laocoonte alle origini dei musei Vaticani, Roma : L'Erma di Bretschneider, 2006no.24
  • '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.
  • Villing, Alexandra, J. Lesley Fitton, Victoria Turner and Andrew Shapland. Troy: Myth and Reality. Exhibition Catalogue, London, British Museum. London: Thames & Hudson, 2019, pp. 194-95, fig. 193
Collection
Accession Number
A.136-1910

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdOctober 22, 2004
Record URL