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

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




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.


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Prints and Drawings


Nicolò Boldrini




Italy (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Woodcut printed in black on ivory laid paper


Image/block: 27.3 × 40.7 cm (10 3/4 × 16 1/16 in.); Sheet: 27.8 × 40.7 cm (11 × 16 1/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Dr. Harold Joachim

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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