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The Laocoon is a sculptural group that is considered one of the finest pieces of art ever executed, a perfect example of the
Hellenistic Baroque. It was thought to have originated on the island of Rhodes, carved, according to Pliny the Elder, by three sculptors; Agesander, Athenodoros, and Polydorus. It stands, today, in the
Belvedere garden in the Vatican Museum. The Laocoon was discovered at the beginning of the 16th century on the Oppian
escarpment, the tip of the Esquiline hill, near where a part of Nero’s Domus Aurea used to be. It was thought to be the copy of a bronze original. The date of the marble statue can be anywhere from the first century BC to the first century AD.
Laocoon was a Trojan priest of Apollo. He is not mentioned in either the Iliad or the Odyssey. He appears in the later cycle of
Trojan stories. He also appears in Book II of Virgil’s Aeneid. He is skeptical and not easily fooled. It is he who throws a spear at
the hollow wooden horse which echoes throughout its cavernous internal space within which the Greek warriors are hidden. As he argues against bringing the horse into the city, three serpents emerge from the sea and attack Laocoon and his sons. The Trojans take the event to mean that the gods, Poseidon in this case, favored bringing the horse into the city. The rest is well known legend.
Craig took this picture for Pro Romanis several years ago on a photographic expedition to Rome. Craig Phares is a photographer, artist, designer, and programmer. He built his first game on a TI-85 calculator when he should have been doing math homework, and has never stopped, creating numerous jaw-dropping digital masterpieces for the web, desktop, and mobile devices. Craig studied sculpture at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, while constantly improving his design and programming skills on his own time. He went on to work for several advertising agencies, finally leaving to form his own company. Craig is the founder of Six Overground, a progressive digital agency focused on building full-scale digital platforms. His company has produced award-winning work for major brands and corporations including Citigroup, Estée Lauder, Havaianas HBO, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, NFL, U.S. Air Force, and USDA. When he’s not glued to a computer monitor, you’ll find him in the real world, dreaming up the next big thing. To learn more about Craig, visit his website at http://sixoverground.com/about/.