Digital Sculpture Project: Laocoön

Catalogue Entry: Plaster cast of the Laocoon Group

Name: Cast in plaster of the Laocoon Group

Collection: Vatican Museums

Inventory Number: 57780

Date Created: 1957

Date Acquired: 1957

Cast makers: Francesco Mercatali (for the Pollak arm, Andrea Felice 2008)

Material: Plaster

Dimensions: Essentially the same as of the original marble statue group (Height 208 cm; width 163 cm; depth 112 cm).

3D Model: Raw data collected by Bernd Breuckmann and Laurent Wurmser of Breuckmann GmbH assisted by Chad Keller and David Koller of the University of Virginia. The data were reprocessed in 2023 by Mohamed Abdelaziz. Copyright Vatican Museums.

3D Model Annotations: Kacie Alaga (2023).

Project Sponsor: Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Project Director: Bernard Frischer.

Description: The cast of the Laocoon group was made in 1957 during the restoration of the original statue directed by Filippo Magi. On that occasion, the right arm, found in 1903 by Ludwig Pollak and donated by him to the Vatican Museums, was inserted into what Magi considered to be the original position.

Interpretation and significance: The importance of the cast resides in the fact that it was created in separate parts: given the size and complexity of the group, it was sculpted in antiquity in seven different elements. The cast makes it possible to re-examine the internal joins and characteristics of each of these elements without having to touch the original.

Basic Bibliography:

  • F. Magi, Il ripristino del Laocoonte, Memorie della Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia IX.1, 1960.
  • L. Rebaudo, Il braccio mancante. I restauri del Laocoonte (1506–1957), Trieste 2007.

[Catalogue entry by Paolo Liverani]

Laocoon Model Main Page

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