Laocoön

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Laocoön

(lāŏk`ōŏn), in Greek mythology, priest of Apollo who warned the Trojans not to touch the wooden horse made by the Greeks during the Trojan War. While he and his two sons were sacrificing to Poseidon at the seashore, two serpents came from the water and crushed them. The Trojans interpreted this event as a sign of the gods' disapproval of Laocoön's prophecy, and they brought the wooden horse into the city. Subsequent events vindicated Laocoön's judgment, however, since the horse was filled with Greeks, who waited until night and then sacked Troy. A magnificent Greek statue by Agesander, Athenodorus, and Polydorus, unearthed in Rome in 1508 and now in the Vatican, shows Laocoön and his sons in their death struggle. This Hellenistic sculpture had an important influence on the artists of the Renaissance.

Laocoön

 

a Trojan priest in ancient Greek mythology.

When the Greeks withdrew from Troy and left outside its walls a huge wooden horse (the Trojan Horse), Laocoön did everything possible to dissuade the Trojans from taking the horse into the city. For this the goddess Athena, who aided the Greeks, sent two serpents against Laocoön and these strangled him and his sons. Laocoön’s death was captured in the sculpture group “Laocoön” by the Rhodian masters, Agesander, Athenodorus, and Polydorus (c. 50 B.C.) and in the second book of Virgil’s Aeneid. Comparison of these two works of art served as the starting point for G. Lessing’s treatise on the laws of fine art and poetry, Laocoön, or The Limits of Painting and Poetry (1766). The myth of Laocoön served as a subject for European painters of the 16th and 17th centuries, such as G. Romano and El Greco.

Laocoön

Trojan priest warns citizens not to accept wooden horse. [Rom. Lit.: Aeneid]
See: Warning
References in periodicals archive ?
The deeply embedded culture at Laocoon could be a major obstacle to the quality and excellence changes that Averil is trying to initiate at the company.
Lynch, Laocoon and Sinon: Virgil, Aeneid 2, <<G&R>> 27, 170-179.
The sculpture represents the moment described in Virgil's Aeneid, where Poseidon punishes Laocoon for warning the Trojans against accepting the wooden horse of the Greeks, whom the god had been supporting.
The first chapter, "Blake's Laocoon and Classicist Theories of Art," situates Blake's innovative text persuasively within the German discussion of the Laocoon statue by Winckelmann and Lessing as it was mediated by Fuseli.
The suffering Laocoon embodies an ideal of mental control that was to become through the 1820s the governing doctrine of Hemans' aesthetic.
Given the developmental argument of the introduction, chapter 1 unexpectedly takes up Blake's late work The Laocoon to illustrate how relentlessly Blake undermines the presentation and conceptualization of time and space in his writings and drawings.
down Laocoon (chosen by lot a priest of Neptune) only to recede
I also raised New Critical concerns in our discussion of one section of the novel when I pointed to several allusions to the classical era, including the ironic comparison of a man smuggling sausages under his coat to a masterpiece of Classical sculpture, Laocoon and his Sons.
His translations include: Plato's Dialogue of Literature and Art, Laocoon by Lessing and Aesthetics by Hegel (three volumes).
49; the speaker is the priest Laocoon, who correctly distrusts the wooden horse left for the Trojans to take inside their walls.
This, it seems to me, is the way to think about the masterpieces you will see in this great exhibition--about The Opening of the Fifth Seal, about the astonishing Laocoon, about The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception and certainly about the ecstatic landscape of Toledo itself.