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The Laocoon Group

dated c.1510-1527; re-issued c.1530-1560

Engraving | 23.3 x 39.1 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 854597

An engraving representing the Laocoon Group, now in the Vatican Museum (inv. no. 1059). This print is signed with a monogram and lettered on the plate 'PROUT IN II AENEIDOS P V MARONIS' . Several of the ruins scattered around are also inscribed, including one which reads 'OSSA' ('bones' from Latin). This is a later impression that features the signature of Antonio Salamanca as the publisher. According to Bartsch this print is after a drawing by Raphael.

This print does not accurately reproduce the statue (see RCIN 854596 for a different impression) but is a rather personal and original version of it, related to the Aeneid by Virgilius (mentioned in the inscription) and more directly to a miniature in the manuscript Vergilius Vaticanus, which was owned by Pietro Bembo, the Pope's secretary who was very close to Raphael (see Bibliographic References). 

The statue of the Laocoon was dug up in 1506 on the Esquiline Hill and identified with the masterpiece described by Pliny the Elder in his 'Natural History' (XXXVI, 37) as a work by Agesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus. Pope Julius II had it displayed in a niche in the Belvedere courtyard in the Vatican. The statue, one of the most famous and influencial during the Renaissance, was missing several parts when it was found. Its dating has been much debated, but it is largely accepted that it was probably created between 40 and 30 BC.

  • Creator(s)

    Marco Dente Da Ravenna (1486-1527) (engraver)

    After a work attributed to Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520) (draughtsman)

    Antonio Salamanca (1500-62) (publisher)

  • 23.3 x 39.1 cm (sheet of paper)

  • Added to the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection (c.1853-76)

  • Subject(s)
    • Natural Sciences & Mathematics
      • Biological sciences
        • Zoology
          • Animals
            • Reptiles
              • Snakes
    • Social sciences
      • Military affairs
        • Wars, Campaigns & Battles
          • Wars
            • Trojan War
    • Arts, Recreation, Entertainment & Sport
      • Plastic arts
        • Sculpture
          • Statues
      • Architecture
        • Ecclesiastical & religious architecture
          • Non-Christian religious architecture
            • Temples
    Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • prints
  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    Shoemaker/Broun 1981 : I. Shoemaker and E. Broun. The Engravings of Marcantonio Raimondi: Spencer Museum of Art; The Ackland Art Museum, 1981
    pp. 192-193, no. 66

    Other number(s)

    Ruland p. 349 B.X.2