Laocoön and His Sons by Agesander and Polydorus of Rhodes

Sculpture of Laocoön and His Sons by Agesander and Polydorus of Rhodes
Laocoön and His Sons

Inspiration Source

The Aeneid by Robert Fagles, tells the story of Laocoön and His Sons.
The Aeneid by Robert Fagles
Laocoön and His Sons by Agesander and Polydorus of Rhodes, is a unique sculpture to exemine the changes in Greek art in Hellenistic Period which can be seen from the most famous constructions and sculptures of the age overall. It has been found in 1506. At this sculpture, a sob story from the Epic of Aeneas by Vergilius had been reembodied. Laocoön who was a priest of Troy, warnes his people to not accept the gift which was a giant wooden horse entering the city. The gods who have seen that their plans of destroying Troy was ruined, sends two giant snakes from the seas. They smother Laocoön and his sons. So, it was one of the stories which god shows their rage cruelly on weaker human being. Similar stories remain in epics of Greek, Latin and Christian cultures such as Jonah and the Great Fish and Noah’s Ark. You may take a look at Monreale Cathedral mosaics including Noah's Ark story.

Aim of the Sculptors

Aeneas by Eötvös Jozsef Könyvkiado, tells the story of Laocoön and His Sons in Greek Mythology.
by Eötvös Jozsef Könyvkiado
However, it’s impossible to know that what was aim of artist while covering this sculpture, it can be examined from two different perspectives. Did he try to tell us the violence that an innocent man has? Or, did he only try to prove his talent im sculpting? Whatever his purpose was, it can be easily said that his technique was ahead of its time. Style of carving arms and bodily muscles of Laocoön while struggling against the snakes and the face expressions of him and his sons during the fight proves the talent of sculptor. From another point of view, with respect to moral and lifestyle of human being at this century, using animals in gladiator fights were reasonably common. So it brings out a fresh idea about the sculpture and artist. Besides great purposes, he may have thought that his work would have entertained the society with its lively look. At this point, we can estimate the purpose of sculptor with respect to the situation which was the way of art being in Hellenistic Period.

Effects of Hellenistic Period on the Sculpture

Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy, created in 1773 by italian painter Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, depicts the Trojan War.
Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy (1773) 
by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo
Greek art in Hellenistic Period does not include figurines of sorcery and religion. In another word, the art had nearly lost its relevancy with religious icons. Artists were approaching problems more technically. Because of this approach, the story of Laocoön with its complex figurines and manners was a true test for sculptor to prove his carving talent. It can be even said that, the sculptor has not cared the violence in the art piece in a perspective of ethics, but considered carving it perfectly more important. So, it makes the second question about his purpose more realistic way of approach. By getting over the effect of religions and sorcery, sculptures of Hellenistic Periods became fine examples in order to make this style of arts spread in society. However, none of those works has clues to lead the artists of today carving more realistic artworks, in the cities of Pompei, Herculaneum and Stabia, architectures of this period had made a good use of those major works such as the sculpture of Laocoön and His Sons. All in all, this one can be mentioned as the finest example of Greek art in Hellenistic Period with respect to its design approach, details and effects on other artworks done by referencing it.
Laocoön and His Sons by Agesander and Polydorus of Rhodes Laocoön and His Sons by Agesander and Polydorus of Rhodes Reviewed by Articonog on December 04, 2019 Rating: 5

1 comment:

Powered by Blogger.