"dimly glimpsed Laocoön embrace of naked limbs"

Laocoön and His Sons
Public DomainLaocoön and His Sons
Laocoön was a Trojan priest killed in the course of the Trojan war by being strangled by sea serpents.  The story is the subject of an marble statue carved in the first or second centuries BCE, which shows the serpents entwined with the bodies of Laocoön and his two sons.