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.
- Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Nicolò Boldrini
- Woodcut printed in black on ivory laid paper
- 273 × 407 mm (image/block); 278 × 407 mm (sheet)
- Gift of Dr. Harold Joachim