Monday, July 29, 2013

Article About the Laocoon - its Provenance and the Impact on Michelangelo, by Matthew James Collins

Matt Collins sent this to me today - an article in Epoch Times about the famous Laocoon in the Vatican Museum. Recent scholarship has suggested that what we have is a copy and that even Pliny the Elder was incorrect in his assessment of it. My response to this, is that if ever there was an argument for the value of copies then this is it. As Matt points out how it is difficult to imagine that the original was greater.

Another interesting discussion is the impact that the discovery of the Laocoon in the early 16th century had on Michelangelo. He lost confidence in his sculpting abilities, it seemed and barely completed another sculpture in the remaining 58 years of his life. His response was to focus more on his painting, and particularly fresco painting...and we see the results in the Sistine Chapel.

The full article is here. Matt was my teacher in Florence and a painter and sculptor who understands the baroque style as well as anyone I know. He was very patient with me as I continually asked him for more recommendations for books to read. He is an American who lives with his Italian wife and family in Italy.

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