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The Winged Victory of Samothrace is back at the Louvre

Before she lost her arms, which have never been recovered, Nike's right arm is believed to have been raised, [7] cupped round her mouth to deliver the shout of Victory. The statue's outstretched right wing is a symmetric plaster version of the original left one. The stylistic portrayal of the wings is a source of scholarly discussion, as the feather pattern resembles neither the wings of birds in nature nor wings in Greek art. The fingerless hand had slid out of sight under a large rock, near where the statue had originally stood; on the return trip home, Dr Phyllis Williams Lehmann identified the tip of the Goddess's ring finger and her thumb in a storage drawer at the Kunsthistorisches Museum , Vienna, where the second Winged Victory is displayed; the fragments have been reunited with the hand, [10] which is now in a glass case in the Louvre next to the podium on which the statue stands.

The different degree of finishing of the sides has led scholars to think that it was intended to be seen from three-quarters on the left. A partial inscription on the base of the statue includes the word "Rhodios" Rhodian , indicating that the statue was commissioned to celebrate a naval victory by Rhodes , at that time the most powerful maritime state in the Aegean which in itself would date the statue to BC at the earliest. The sculptor is unknown, [11] although Paul MacKendrick suggests that Pythokritos of Lindos is responsible.

The Archaeological Museum of Samothrace continues to follow these originally established provenance and dates. The evidence for a Rhodian commission of the statue has been questioned, however, and the closest artistic parallel to the Nike of Samothrace are figures depicted on Macedonian coins. In April , the Victory was discovered by the then French consul in Adrianopolis and amateur archaeologist Charles Champoiseau — , who sent it to Paris in the same year.

The statue has been reassembled in stages since its discovery.

The prow was reconstructed from marble debris at the site by Champoiseau in and assembled in situ before being shipped to Paris. After , the statue was positioned where it would visually dominate the Daru staircase. All the museums of Paris were closed on August Artwork and objects were packed for removal to locations deemed more safe outside Paris for safekeeping. On the night of September 3, the statue descended the staircase on a wooden ramp which was constructed across the steps. The discovery in of the hand raised in salute, which matched a fragment in Vienna, established the modern reconstruction—without trumpet—of the hand raised in epiphanic greeting.

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In a restoration effort was launched to improve the appearance of the sculpture. This was the first detailed examination of the individual pieces of the sculpture to date.

The restoration aimed to restore the marble to its original hue which had been tarnished by time. The sculpture was removed from its base and carried into an adjoining room which was transformed for the occasion into a restoration workshop.

Winged Victory (Nike) of Samothrace (video) | Khan Academy

The base was dismantled block by block and placed in the workshop. Scientific reviews were performed on the base UV , Infrared , X-ray spectroscopy prior to cleaning the surface of the marble.

A commemorative Rhodian monument

This effort aimed to respect the goals of the original restoration performed in The surface of the base was cleaned and then reassembled, and some gaps in the marble were repaired. Upon completion of the restoration, the statue was reunited with its base and returned to its prior position at the head of the Daru staircase in the Louvre. Despite its significant damage and incompleteness, the Victory is held to be one of the great surviving masterpieces of sculpture from the Hellenistic Period, and from the entire Greco-Roman era.


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The statue shows a mastery of form and movement which has impressed critics and artists since its discovery. It is considered one of the Louvre's greatest treasures, and since the late 19th century it has been displayed in the most dramatic fashion, at the head of the sweeping Daru staircase. The art historian H. Janson has pointed out [1] that unlike earlier Greek or Near Eastern sculptures, Nike creates a deliberate relationship to the imaginary space around the goddess.

An interchangeable body part is included which can be used together with the head part from the previously released figma Venus de Milo in order to display the statue with a head!

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Be sure to add the goddess of victory to your collection! Javascript seems to be disabled in your browser. Some features may not be available unless it is enabled. Desktop Site. The body of Nike herself is made of marble, and she was constructed in Samothrace [Lehman ,89]. Charles Champoiseau who was a French console to the Ottoman Empire excavated the statue of Nike in , He shipped the statue in pieces back to the louvre in and it was restored and completed by [Palagia , ]. Nike the Goddess is one of the many forms of Athena who is a goddess of war strategy. Nike is the embodiment of victory in sports and on the battlefield [Lenardon , ].

It is unsure for who the statue was made for. The common belief is that it was made to commemorate a sea victory of the city of Rhodes over Antiochus the great in BCE, however there are some who believe that the Nike was made to honor King Philip the fifth after he took control of the Island of Samothrace [Palagia ,].