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Laoco÷n and his Sons

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Author Topic: Laoco÷n and his Sons  (Read 237 times)
Krystal Coenen
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« on: July 14, 2007, 08:02:27 pm »

Restorations

When the statue was discovered, Laoco÷n's right arm was missing, along with part of the hand of one child and the right arm of the other. Artists and connoisseurs debated how the missing parts should be interpreted. Michelangelo suggested that the missing right arms were originally bent back over the shoulder. Others, however, believed it was more appropriate to show the right arms extended outwards in a heroic gesture. The Pope held an informal contest among sculptors to make replacement right arms, which was judged by Raphael. The winner, in the outstretched position, was attached to the statue.

In 1957, however, the original right arm of Laoco÷n himself, with a snake coil about his wrist, was found by L. Pollack in a builder's yard in Rome, and was in the position which had been suggested by Michelangelo. The arm has now been rejoined to the statue. The restored portions of childrens' arm and hand were removed. In the course of disassembly breaks and cuttings and metal tenons and dowel holes have suggested that a more compact, three-dimensional pyramidal grouping of the three figures was contemplated or used in Antiquity before subsequent ancient and Renaissance restorations were made; the more open, planographic composition along a plane, familiar in the Laoco÷n group as restored, has been interpreted as "apparently the result of serial reworkings by Roman Imperial as well as Renaissance and modern craftsmen"[1]

There are many copies of the statue, including a well-known one in the Grand Palace of the Knights of St. John in Rhodes. Many still show the arm in the outstretched position. The copy in Rhodes has been corrected
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