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    Sale 7540

    A House on the Wiltshire Downs

    6 March 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 73

    AN ITALIAN BRONZE GROUP OF LAOCOÖN

    SECOND HALF 19TH CENTURY, AFTER THE ANTIQUE

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN ITALIAN BRONZE GROUP OF LAOCOÖN
    SECOND HALF 19TH CENTURY, AFTER THE ANTIQUE
    32¾in. (83cm.) high
    Set on an associated white and inlaid marble rectangular plinth on four bracket feet - 9in. (23cm.) high; 26in. (66cm.) wide (2)


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    The present group depicting the Trojan priest Laocoön and his two sons being attacked by snakes at the temple of Neptune has been an iconic image since it was discovered in 1506 near Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. The story, from Book II of Virgil's Aeneid, tells how Laocoön was blinded and his sons were condemned to death by Athena, who favoured the Greeks, for warning the citizens of Troy not to bring the wooden horse within the city walls. Another interpretation of the story, however, is that Apollo sent the snakes to punish the Seer for sleeping with his wife in his temple in the presence of the deity's image.

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