- Museum number
- Object: The Wax Model of Laocoön
Model of Laocoön, naked, with a beard and a mass of curly hair, and his two sons, both naked and with short hair. The model is of red beeswax. Laocoön is seated on a support covered with drapery, his muscular body contorted and his right arms raised and holding a snake which twists behind his back, under his left elbow and over his left forearm. He holds the other end of the snake in his left hand and its head rests against his lower back.At his left side stands his elder son, with drapery over his left shoulder, his head turned to right towards his father and his right arm raised and encircled by the snake. His body is bent over, and his left leg raised and bent at the knee. A snake encircles his lower left leg and upper right thigh, and twines round his father's limbs, as well as those of his younger brother seated at his father's right side with his right hand raised. His left is encircled by a snake which twists around his back and around the top of his right arm. His left arm is held across the front of his body and his left hand clutches a snake. The group is attached to a ? wood support inscribed in gold on the back 'PRESENTED BY THOMAS HOLLIS, ESQ./on 5th MAY 1758/ (Donations Book in Director's Office).
- Production date
- 17thC(late) (possibly)
Length: 300 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The marble group, excavated in Rome in1506, has been reproduced many times in various media, especially bronze. Details of bronzes on the market or exhibited at the end of the 20th century are held on file, together with drawings and engravings exhibited. For a bronze attributed to G.B. Foggini, see Peter Fusco, 'Summary Catalogue of European Sculpture in The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 1997, p. 21, no 85.SB.413.
The wax group has shown some signs of decomposition (a white bloom has been observed on the surface), and was examined in the Research Laboratory in November 1986 (V. Daniels, no ref. no., copy on object file) and subsequently (report currently missing - will be placed on file in due course).
See Haskell & Penny, Taste & the Antique, Yale University Press 1981, no.52 (classical marble original).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2007 13 May-12 Aug, Leeds, Henry Moore Institute, 'Towards a New Laocoön'
- See comment above. The group has exhibited a white surface bloom and is under observation.
- Acquisition date
- 1758 (5 May)
- Acquisition notes
- Acquired with bust in clay of Sir Thomas More executed by Mr George Vertue.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number