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"Laocoon" A Forgery by Michelangelo? (moved from ATSNN)

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posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 10:43 AM
"Laocoon" is a sculpture, discovered in early 1506, thought to be from the Classical Period. A Columbia University Scholar notes that Michelangelo, who was one of two people sent by Pope Julius II to see it after it was dug up, had actually carved it. She notes, amoung other things, sketches of his that date to a time previous to the statue's discovery, that resemble part of the sculpture. Other authorities on the matter strongly disagree.
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The "Laocoön" was placed at the Vatican Museums by Pope Julius II not long after it was discovered on Jan. 14, 1506, on the Esquiline Hill. Upon hearing the news, the pope immediately dispatched the architect Giuliano da Sangallo to view it; Sangallo brought along his colleague Michelangelo Buonarroti. The men identified the statue as that described by the first-century Roman encyclopedist Pliny the Elder in his "Natural History," who called it "a work superior to any painting and any bronze," one "carved from a single block in accordance with an agreed plan by those eminent craftsmen Hagesander, Polydorus and Athenodorus, all of Rhodes."
In a telephone interview, Dr. Catterson cited a pen study by Michelangelo dating from 1501 depicting the rear of a male torso that resembles the back of the "Laocoön" - and Michelangelo's documented finesse at copying.

"That the Laocoön was carved by Michelangelo explains why then, and why now, its effect is mesmerizing," she said.

[Michelangelo] was an astute forger who earned his Bacchus commission after a carved sleeping Cupid that he had buried in the ground to "age" had been sold to a wealthy cardinal in 1495.
Then there was recent scholarship on bank withdrawals and deposits between 1498 and 1501 that suggests that the sculptor was buying chunks of marble while accumulating substantial income that could not be accounted for, Dr. Catterson said, and several letters from Michelangelo to his father that spoke of some marbles but failed to explain how he was using the others.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Very intruiging. The sculpture certainly is incredible. I personally can't possibly say if its from the Renaissance or any other time. Carbon-dating, before anyone suggests it, is completely useless in this matter, and any radio-metric dating will only reveal the age of the marble, which has nothing to do with when it was carved. I'd think that if the statue suffers no signs of wear, that that would go in the 'supports forgery' column. But I have no idea how much wear is on the statue, and the general pictures available aren't useful for that purpose.
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[edit on 22-4-2005 by Nygdan]

posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 10:57 AM
Your picture is WAY to big to be in the intro section. It will screw up the site.

Might want to move it to the summary.

posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 11:12 AM
Yes, I had to submit it like that to see the full size, and then edit it to a more correct size.

I wonder if there are any other forgeries of this type? I also think its interesting that we have "The Davinci Code", and now "The Michelangelo Conspiracy".

posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 11:25 AM
Wouldn't be the first time Michelangelo is thought to have been the actual creator of some of the most famous historical religious and art pieces.

The case made against him as the creator of the shroud of Turin is one of these cases.

I wouldn't be surprised if this statue was by his hand, if he could make the shroud so that people to date still think its 2000 years old, then making a statue look like its from the classical period would be a walk in the park for him.

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