Laocoon and his sons, with the serpent

Pietro Perret
Laocoön, 1581
Bryn Mawr College Collections
The Drexel-Van Pelt Collection

Laocoön, in Greco-Roman mythology, was a Trojan priest. He and his sons were destroyed by sea serpents sent by the gods. This first-century sculpture group was discovered on January 14, 1506 in a vineyard, and immediately installed in the Belvedere gallery in the Vatican.