You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

The Discovery of Laocoön



The statue of Laocoön was most likely built somewhere between between 27 BC and 68 AD, but was lost and discovered in 1506. BlenderMatt recreated it in Blender.

BlenderMatt writes:

The story of Laocoön was the subject of a tragedy by Sophocles. Laocoön was a Trojan priest of Poseidon who, after attempting to expose the ruse of the Trojan Horse, was subsequently subject to divine execution (along with his two sons) by serpents sent to Troy across the sea from the island of Tenedos.

The figures are close to life-size (the group is a little over 6 ft 7 in in height) showing the Trojan priest Laocoön, and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus, being attacked by the sea serpents. Pliny the Elder attributed the work to three Greek sculptors from the island of Rhodes: Agesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus.

In 1506 the statue was discovered in the vineyard of Felice De Fredis on the Oppian Hill in Rome. Whilst this surely involved more excavation than my image shows, I found it fascinating that such a great statue could be lost for so many centuries. With that in mind I decided to attempt my own version of the discovery of Laocoön (with plenty of artistic license!). This took a lot longer than I originally anticipated and owe many thanks to the numerous people who helped me with all the problems I encountered. Without that help I would never have seen this to the end - thank you all!

I will be posting some info about the making of this over on Blender Artists.


  1. They found this statue without Laocoon right arm and without the head of
    the snake. Firstly the arm was reconstructed straigt up, but than they
    found the original arm. The snake head it is not in the right place. Probably the
    head was in an upper position, near the arm, pointing to Laocoon neck. A
    last, probabily, this statue is not Greek, as they believed, but sculpted and buried by Michelangelo Buonarroti centuries later ...

    • Hmm, correction, this statue is absolutely NOT by Michelangelo. The Laocoön was excavated in Rome in 1506 and Michelangelo has seen it. But he was not the sculptor of this masterpiece. The style is really greek and Michelangelo had already made his marvelous ''David'' three years before and his ''Pietà'' 8 years before, so he was a very famous young artist in Florence and Rome, he had no reason to sculpt years on the ''Laocoön and His Sons'', burry them in the ground and then fake a find.

      In 1496 (10 years before), when he was an unknown teenager, he had done something like that, he made a small sleeping Cupid figure and treated it with acidic earth to make it seem ancient. He then sold it to a dealer, Baldassare del Milanese, who in turn sold it to a Cardinal who later learned of the fraud and demanded his money back.

      By the way, BlenderMatt, you did a very nice Blender job here ! Bravo !!! :-)

      • For sure it's not done by Agesander, Atanodoro and Polidoro, as has been said, because the quality of their work was much lower. The two sons of Laocoon have not the appearance of children but of adults on a smaller scale. A Greek sculptor would never do such a thing, while Michelangelo used to do things like that. Only Michelangelo depicted his characters seated, this was never used in ancient Greece. The right arm is unusual in that position, only Michelangelo used to put his figures in that position, and when they found the statue without arm, he predicted that the correct position was that. There are no certainties, but I know very well that the sculpture of Michelangelo, I am led to believe this hypothesis...

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.