Italian Art 101 – Lacoon and His Sons, Vatican Museum

A great discussion of one of the magical pieces of work we love sharing with our clients.


The Vatican Museum is one of the must-see spots in Rome and one of the most popular museums in the world. And rightly so. Over 70,000 priceless works of art are on display and countless more are tucked away in its archives. But instead of heading straight for Raphael’s beautiful paintwork in the Stanze della Segnatura or Michelangelo’s breath-taking Sistine Chapel I suggest you take the long way round and start with the Greek and Roman sculptures. And one in particular – Laocoön and His Sons in the Octagonal Room.


At first glance there is an energy to the statue as the father and his two sons writhe and twist in battle with two snakes. The agonized expression on the father’s face as he fights to save his children adds drama and pain to the piece. And the quality of the work is breath-taking as the sculptor depicts the muscles…

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