jere7my (jere7my) wrote,
jere7my
jere7my

  • Mood:
  • Music:

The Laocoön

Laocoön.jpg

Tuesday, June 30 - Rome

I got teary-eyed when I saw the Laocoön. Couldn't move. It's one of the most beautiful things ever created by humans, in my book — muscular and graceful, solid and dynamic, perfectly geometrically balanced. It somehow manages to be bitterly tragic and breathtaking at the same time, poised right on the cusp between human pain and aesthetics. And it utterly refutes the idea that art and the fantastic can't coexist, since it's really just a standard scene from a monster movie (Attack of the Killer Sea Serpents!). This was a bit of a pilgrimage for me — I'd wanted to see it for years and years — and as tour groups came and went like surf in front of me I stood in the Laocoön's alcove in the sunny Cortile Ottagono, smiling and crying.

If you don't know the story: The fellow with the beard is Laocoön, the priest who warned Troy about the Trojan horse ("Beware of Greeks bearing gifts"). Even though Troy ignored the warning, Athena (or perhaps Apollo, or Poseidon) sent sea snakes to kill him and his sons as punishment. The sculpture was dug up in 1506 near Nero's Domus Aurea (which we'd tromped all over the day previous), and it quickly became the very first acquisition of the Vatican Museums. For a long time, Laocoön's right arm was missing; it was displayed with a 16th-century replacement, heroically outstretched and holding a loop of the serpent at bay. Then, in 1906, his (possibly) real arm was found in a marble yard: bent backwards, submissive, still straining but hopeless.

DSCN8804.jpg

DSCN8798.jpg

DSCN8800.jpg

DSCN8802.jpg
Tags: honeymoon, italy, rome
Subscribe

  • It's hard to make a left turn

    [I really don't like the LiveJournal iPad app. I accidentally deleted this post. Here it is again, but unfortunately I lost all the comments.] I…

  • The House on the Corner

    We're likely to make an offer on a house today. It's the second floor of a big house on Boylston Street in Watertown, just a block off Mount Auburn…

  • Arisia 2013

    Arisia was last weekend. I truly can't remember having such a good time at a con. Almost invariably, I spend Sunday afternoon at Arisia feeling…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment