Hegesandros, Polydoros, and Athanodoros of Rhodes, Laocoön and His Sons, Roman copy of 1st cen. CE sculpture. Marble, 6’ 7” high, Vatican Museum, Rome, Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen via Wikimedia Commons, Artwork in the Public Domain.

The Wrath of Athena: Laocoön and His Sons

The Art Minute University:  This post was written by Meghan Rayford, a student at Southwestern University.

Laocoön, who was the priest of Poseidon, was subjected to the wrath of Athena after he suggests that the Trojan horse, filled with the Greek enemy, not be brought into the city during the Trojan War.  In the Aeneid, Vergil explains that after this, Athena sent two sea serpents to kill Laocoön as well as his two sons.

This sculpture is typical of the Greek Hellenistic style with the extraordinarily dramatic qualities portrayed through the intense faces and twisted bodies.  In the center, one of the serpents bites Laocoön, which explains the agony shown on his face.  The son on the right is the freest and watches fearfully while the son on the left is the nearest to death.

In the end the Trojan horse was brought into the city where the Greeks defeated the Trojans; they should have listened to Laocoön.