The Laocoon Group–My Favorite Greek Mythology Sculpture of the Vatican Museum


The Laocoon Group sculpture in the Vatican Museum. Rome, Italy.

The Laocoon Group sculpture in the Vatican Museums. Rome, Italy.

The Laocoon sculpture is a perfectly performed Death itself. I was a child when I first saw this statue. I did not realize its value. I just looked at the beautiful bodies of a grandfather and his grandchildren. Oh yes, I did not know it was the Trojan priest Laocoon and his sons, Antiphantes and Thymbraeus. If there is a beard, then he must be an old man, period! But this old man was in such perfect physical condition that I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I guess the ancient Greeks knew some kind of secret of getting into such a shape and keeping it without using the steroids that we need nowadays in order to recreate such an appearance.

This is the only statue that in my childhood I failed to draw successfully from the catalogue due to the huge amount of detail. It was much easier with Venus de Milo or Apollo sculptures. And now just imagine how much effort it took to cut it out from a solid marble block. As I learned later, there were two blocks, but still, does it make the process easier?

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Mona Lisa Copy in Museo del Prado is Younger than Original

During three days, Madrid literally hammered all its treasures on us: Prado Museum, Museo Cerralbo, Museum of America; El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Murillo, Titian, Veronese, Bosch, Van Dyck, Rubens, Dürer and Poussin…

This painting is Irina’s favourite. She believes the beauty of Amalia de Llano y Dotres by Federico de Madrazo, depicted in the picture, much more uncontested than the Mona Lisa. Languishing eyes, eyelashes ready to wince… Dazzling Amalia!

Portrait of Amalia de Llano y Dotres, condesa de Vilches, by Federico de Madrazo. Museo del Prado. Madrid, Spain.

Portrait of Amalia de Llano y Dotres, condesa de Vilches, by Federico de Madrazo

At one point it felt like we were watching all these masterpieces as if we were eating the black caviar with big spoons. Of course, it should not work this way with the masterpieces, but what to do; we are leaving in a few days and still have plans set for the Episcopal Toledo, aristocratic Segovia and Avila with its 88 watchtowers and mysterious cathedral church. Sometimes we dream of coming to Paris and visiting only the Louvre for the whole week. But meanwhile we are just for a day in the Museo Del Prado.

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Salvador Dali Museum

It was a long time ago when I first saw Salvador Dali art reproductions and was deeply mesmerized by the sharpness, riot of colors and, of course, his imagination. You can spend an eternity staring at the tiger petrified in a leap or at the clocks chocolate-brown melt under the sun and hanging on the branches amid the desert. And what a blobs self-portrait?!

It stands to reason that Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres was an essential sightseeing to attend in Catalonia.

Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres, Catalonia

We are flying to Figueres from Carcassonne, France. Marvelous roads and landscapes. We easily find our Duran Hotel & Restaurant – it is a tiny town.

Duran Hotel & Restaurant

Duran Hotel & Restaurant in Figueres, Catalonia

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