The cast depicts the Trojan priest Laocoon and his sons, who are about to be killed by two sea monsters sent by Athena, who wants to take revenge for the attempt to obstruct the entry of the Greeks to Troy. Laocoon, in the center of the composition, is represented in a pose of emphatic twisting, with the muscles of the belly contracting due to convulsions, underlining the effort and tension of the protagonist, caught in an attempt to extricate himself from the grip of the snake, which forms with his body a knot, so as to make Laocoon fall back on the altar. The other snake, coming from the left, grabs the right wrist of the priest, who raises his arms to shake it off. The same excited rhythm is transmitted to the figures of the two sons, at its sides and of smaller dimensions, also wrapped in the coils of the two sea monsters, coming from the right and from the left. The original work, from which the cast derives, is now preserved in the Pio Clementino Museum; found in 1506 in the vineyard of Felice de Frediis sull'Esquilino, in the Colle Oppio area formerly occupied by the Domus Aurea, Pope Julius II placed it in the Belvedere. In 1906 the original right arm was found, the so-called Pollak arm, reunited with the statue in 1950. The cast of the Museum of Classical Art was made by Ernesto Vergara Caffarelli, based on his reconstructive hypothesis and, later, was further modified.