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Jacopo Sansovino, Laocoon, 1507 

Italian architect and sculptor, Jacopo Sansovino (1486 - 1570) paved his own way producing works that rivaled Michelangelo and Palladio. Some of his most famous pieces include the three main building of the Palazzo San Marco (the public mint, the library, and basilica). Young Jacopo with the encouragement of his mother soon became apprentice for Andrea Sansovino. As a result of Andrea's great influence upon on Jacopo, he adopts his last name. 

Sansovino, encouraged by his teacher, enrolls in a contest in Rome was organized by Bramante and featured Raphael as a judge. The contest was to create the best reproduction of the Greek myth, Laocoon. The story of Laocoon references when the seer in the court of Apollo, Laocoon, offends Apollo by conceiving two sons within his sanctuary. The story ends by Poseidon conjuring serpents to kill Laocoon's sons. The winning representation would be presented to Cardinal Domenico Grimani as a gift. Sansovino proceeds to win the competition for his reimagined bronze representation of this classic story. He drapes the the snake in front of the sculpture to frame the piece unlike the original. This work jumpstarts Sansovino entree into the world of sculpture and the Mannerist period.

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