Emeline Bosse

Emeline Bosse

Published: 13 Sep 2023

Source: Nationalgeographic.co.uk

Laocoön and His Sons is one of the most iconic and revered sculptures in the world. Created during the Hellenistic period, this masterpiece depicts Laocoön, a Trojan priest, and his two sons being attacked by giant serpents. The sculpture is not only aesthetically stunning, but it also holds a significant historical and cultural significance. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Laocoön and His Sons and uncover 15 extraordinary facts about this renowned work of art. From its discovery in ancient Rome to the controversies surrounding its restoration, each fact sheds light on the enduring legacy of this captivating sculpture. So, fasten your seatbelts as we embark on a journey to explore the remarkable story behind Laocoön and His Sons.

Table of Contents

The Laocoön and His Sons sculpture was created in ancient Greece.

Dating back to the 1st century BC, this masterpiece is an iconic representation of Hellenistic sculpture.

It was discovered in Rome in 1506.

During a construction project, the sculpture was unearthed in a vineyard belonging to the Felice dei Fredis family on the Esquiline Hill.

The sculpture depicts a mythological scene from the Trojan War.

Laocoön, a Trojan priest, and his two sons are shown being attacked by sea serpents sent by the gods Athena and Poseidon.

Laocoön’s anguished expression is remarkably lifelike.

The sculptor skillfully captured the emotional turmoil and physical strain of the characters, creating a sense of realism and drama.

The sculpture is made of marble.

The pristine white marble used to create Laocoön and His Sons adds to its grandeur and timelessness.

Laocoön and His Sons were originally part of a larger composition.

They were part of a group of sculptures that adorned the palace of Emperor Titus, known as the “Domus Aurea” or “Golden House”.

The sculpture is considered a masterpiece of ancient Greek art.

Its exceptional attention to detail and composition have made it one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world.

Laocoön’s body exhibits incredible muscularity.

The sculptor skillfully depicted the human form, showcasing the intricacies of the human anatomy in a breathtaking manner.

The sculpture is housed in the Vatican Museums.

After its discovery, it was acquired by Pope Julius II and placed in the Vatican, where it continues to captivate visitors today.

Laocoön and His Sons have inspired countless artists over the centuries.

The expressive power and dramatic intensity of the sculpture have served as a muse for many artists seeking to convey emotion in their works.

The sculpture was restored in the late 20th century.

A meticulous restoration process was carried out between 1960 and 1968 to preserve the sculpture and enhance its aesthetic appeal.

Laocoön and His Sons have been featured in various forms of popular culture.

From literature to movies, their image has been referenced and depicted in different mediums, further cementing their cultural significance.

The sculpture has had a significant influence on the development of Western art.

It exemplifies the ideals of balance, proportion, and harmony that were central to the artistic achievements of ancient Greece.

Laocoön and His Sons raise questions about the nature of suffering and the power of divine intervention.

Their plight poses philosophical and theological inquiries that continue to intrigue scholars and thinkers to this day.

Laocoön and His Sons serve as a lasting reminder of the enduring legacy of ancient Greek civilization.

They stand as a testament to the artistic and intellectual achievements of a culture that continues to inspire and fascinate humanity.

These 15 extraordinary facts about Laocoön and His Sons shed light on the historical, artistic, and cultural significance of this remarkable sculpture. From its ancient origins in Greece to its discovery in Rome, Laocoön and His Sons have captured the imagination and admiration of people throughout the centuries. The detailed craftsmanship, emotional depth, and thought-provoking narrative of the sculpture continue to make it a subject of fascination and study across the globe. Visit the Vatican Museums to witness the awe-inspiring presence of Laocoön and His Sons firsthand and experience the power of ancient art.


Laocoön and His Sons is not just a sculpture, but a masterpiece that has captured the attention and admiration of art enthusiasts for centuries. Its intricate details, emotional intensity, and historical significance make it an extraordinary work of art. From its discovery to its current location in the Vatican Museums, this sculpture continues to intrigue and inspire. Whether you are a fan of Greek mythology, a history buff, or simply appreciate the beauty of art, Laocoön and His Sons is an iconic landmark that should not be missed.


1. Who created the Laocoön and His Sons sculpture?
The Laocoön and His Sons sculpture was created by three Greek sculptors named Agesander, Athenodoros, and Polydorus, who were from the city of Rhodes.

2. When was the Laocoön and His Sons sculpture created?
The sculpture was created in the 1st century BC, during the Hellenistic period of ancient Greece.

3. What is the story behind the Laocoön and His Sons sculpture?
The sculpture depicts the tragic story of Laocoön, a Trojan priest, and his two sons. According to Greek mythology, Laocoön was punished by the gods for trying to expose the deception of the Trojan Horse. The gods sent sea serpents to strangle him and his sons, which is depicted in the sculpture.

4. Where can I see the Laocoön and His Sons sculpture?
The sculpture is currently housed in the Vatican Museums in Rome, Italy. It is displayed in the Museo Pio-Clementino, one of the many galleries within the Vatican Museums.

5. What is the significance of the Laocoön and His Sons sculpture?
The Laocoön and His Sons sculpture is regarded as one of the most important examples of ancient Greek sculpture. Its composition, realism, and emotional expression have influenced artists throughout history. It also serves as a representation of the Trojan War and the power of the gods in Greek mythology.