Laöcoon

A work made of woodcut printed in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of woodcut printed in black on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1540/45

Artist:

Nicolò Boldrini (Italian, c. 1500–1566)
after Titian (Italian, c. 1488-1576)

About this artwork

Niccolò Boldrini’s parody of the Hellenistic Laöcoon sculpture, rediscovered in 1506, turns the writhing tragic figures into a trio of hirsute apes. Boldrini frequently worked from drawings by Titian. This particularly comedic composition suggests that the painter was lampooning the smaller-scale copies based on the Laöcoon that Titian could have seen in Venice. Alternately, the print could reference the contemporary debate over the anatomical similarities between humans and apes, in which Andreas Vesalius’s new research (based on his dissection of human cadavers) clashed with the long-accepted writings of the ancient Greek physician Galen.

Currently Off View

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Nicolò Boldrini

Title

Laöcoon

Origin

Italy

Date

1535–1550

Medium

Woodcut printed in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

273 x 407 mm (image/block); 278 x 407 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Gift of Dr. Harold Joachim

Reference Number

1964.370

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share