Head of Laocoon

Andrea I Appiani (Italian, 1754-1817)

Currently on View in H211
Image Licensing

  • This figure, with his tortured expression and tousled hair, is based on the classical sculpture of the mythological Trojan priest, Laocoön. The sculpture’s full composition reveals the source of his anguish—Laocoön and his two sons are writhing in the grip of two serpents.
  • The artist probably saw this marble sculpture in the Vatican Museums during a visit to Rome in 1790 or copied a plaster cast of it in the Milan academy where he studied.
  • A basic component of Appiani’s traditional academic training called for students to make sketches after statuary before receiving instruction in drawing a live model.

Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of European Art, at aschlagenhauff@discovernewfields.org if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

Object Information

Andrea I Appiani (Italian, 1754-1817)
creation date
about 1790
oil on canvas
17-7/8 x 14 in.
23 x 18-1/2 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
The Orville A. and Elma D. Wilkinson Fund
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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