Winged Victory of Samothrace JUNK


had an open palm and two outstretched fingers, suggesting that she was not holding anything and was simply holding her hand up in a gesture of greeting.

The lazy sculptor only made the left (the three-quarter view) in detail because that was the angle from where it would be seen. 
nike shoes

It was created to not only honor the goddess, Nike, but to honor a sea battle. 

The Hellenistic period saw numerous naval battles between the kingdoms inherited by the successors of Alexander the Great as they fought for control of the Aegean Sea. Battle fleets were thus a vital military resource.

The wings, carved from two large marble slabs and attached to the back of the statue with no external support (the reinforcements are modern), created a tricky problem of balance. The sculptor solved the problem by carving the outer face of each wing in one tier and slotting them into a sort of console decorated with feathers sculpted at the back of the main block forming the body. Moreover, a slight downward slope in the horizontal surface on which the wings rested meant that their weight was borne by the body, so that two metal dowels were all it took to hold them in place. This remarkably ingenious solution meant that the sculptor was able to use cantilevering in a large marble work, although the technique was normally only possible in bronze.

found in 1863 around the time Lincoln was president, the American Civil war started, the first US income tax at 3% was created to pay for it, suez canal opened, periodic table created

reassembled like a 3D jigsaw puzzle over a long time

The statue of the Victory of Samothrace consists of several blocks of marble, carved separately and then assembled. This technique, used by Greek sculptors for the head and other protruding parts of the statue as early as the Archaic period, began to be used for the body itself in the Hellenistic period.

The sanctuary of Samothrace, famed throughout Antiquity, consisted of a cluster of buildings dedicated to the worship of the Great Gods and ceremonialMysteries. Hordes of pilgrims, many from Greek cities in Asia Minor, came to be initiated into these mysterious rites.

In the fourth century BC, the kings of Macedonia oversaw a program to enlarge and improve the religious buildings, which came to take up all the ground space in the heart of the sanctuary. The sanctuary thus had to be extended, and work began on the heights overlooking the site. A monumental entrance was built to the east. The top of the hill to the west was flattened to form a terrace and a long portico was built, surrounded by buildings and offerings dedicated by wealthy pilgrims.

At the southern tip of the terrace, the side of the hill was hollowed out to house the statue of Victory, in the highest and most remote part of the shrine. The monument stood in a small building, of which only the foundations remain, protected by recently restored retaining walls but partly hidden under rocks from landslides. The building had three walls, opening at the front onto the terrace with its portico. Given the excellent state of preservation of the Victory’s marble surface, the building would certainly have had a roof. From the evidence of the foundations, the Victory was placed not perpendicular to the back wall of the building, but at a slight angle. Visitors arriving from the portico thus had a three-quarters left view of the monument.

The monumental Victory was just one of the countless offerings made at the sanctuary. The Great Gods of Samothrace were invoked by initiates for protection in situations of danger, for example the threat of shipwreck or battle. A stele in LarissaThessaly, dedicated to the Theoi Megaloi or Great Gods, depicts them as horsemen galloping across the heavens like the Dioscuri, accompanying a winged Victory bearing a wreath. She is bringing it for the man who dedicated the stele, shown at the bottom with his wife preparing a banquet in honor of the gods. 

So an offering representing a Victory on the prow of a battleship is perfectly suited to the site. It was doubtless consecrated in thanks to the gods after a victorious naval battle. Unfortunately, the excavations have not uncovered the dedicatory inscription, which would tell us the circumstances whereby the monument was built, the name of the donor, and maybe even the identity of the sculptor.

inspired roman works and later christian angels

or giving someone the finger British style

"descending to alight upon the prow of a ship."
-- like leo dicaprio in titanic -- i'm the king of the world!

deliver the shout of Victory
 which went generally like "Oy!"
 "Nike's right arm is believed to have been raised,[4] cupped round her mouth to deliver the shout of Victory" --  which went generally like "OY!!"

The Winged Victory of Samothrace, discovered in 1863, is estimated to have been created around 200–190 BC.

It is 8 feet (2.44 metres) high.

nike shoes

It was created to not only honor the goddess, Nike, but to honor a sea battle. 

It conveys a sense of action and triumph as well as portraying artful flowing drapery, as though the goddess was descending to alight upon the prow of a ship.


The two feet, sculpted separately from the rest of the statue, have been lost. Their position has been recreated thanks to the shape of the surface where they would have been placed

It conveys a sense of action and triumph as well as portraying artful flowing drapery, as though the goddess was descending to alight upon the prow of a ship.

Modern excavations suggest that the 

Victory occupied a niche above a theater and also suggest it accompanied an altar that was within view of the ship monument of Demetrius I Poliorcetes (337–283 BC). Rendered in grey and white Thasian and Parian marble

which are prolly really expensive marbles

the figure originally formed part of the Samothrace temple complex dedicated to the Great gods, Megaloi Theoi. It stood on a rostral pedestal of gray marble from Lartos representing the prow of a ship (most likely a trihemiolia), and represents the goddess as she descends from the skies to the triumphant fleet. 

europeans love pedestals

Before she lost her arms, which have never been recovered, Nike's right arm is believed to have been raised,[4] cupped round her mouth to deliver the shout of Victory.[5]


She's also famous bcz part of the statue is the invisible breeze that stands up to and that makes her clothes flow and drape around her.

The work is notable for its convincing rendering of a pose where violent motion and sudden stillness meet, for its graceful balance and for the rendering of the figure's draped garments, compellingly depicted as if rippling in a strong sea breeze. Similar traits can be seen in the Laocoön group which is a reworked copy of a lost original that was likely close both in time and place of origin to Nike, but while Laocoon, vastly admired by Renaissance and classicist artists, has come to be seen[by whom?] as a more self-conscious and contrived work, Nike of Samothrace is seen as an iconic depiction of triumphant spirit and of the divine momentarily coming face to face with man. It is possible, however, that the power of the work is enhanced by the very fact the head is missing.[citation needed]

External video
 Nike of Samothrace,Smarthistory.

The statue’s outstretched right wing is a symmetric plaster version of the original left one. 

As with the arms, the figure's head has never been found, but various other fragments have since been found: in 1950, a team led by Karl Lehmann 

unearthed the missing right hand

 of the Louvre's Winged Victory. 

The fingerless hand had slid out of sight under a large rock, near where the statue had originally stood; 


<uncle hand> or <hand from monty python>

note: **not** nike's hand.

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 theKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, where the second Winged Victory is displayed; the fragments have been reunited with the hand,[6] which is now in a glass case in the Louvrenext to the podium on which the statue stands.

we should just 3D print it all and be done with it.

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.

this is a popular view, gives a really good 3D idea of the subject. not exactly head-on, not exactly the side view.

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 288 BC at the earliest.[citation needed]

When first discovered on the island of Samothrace

then part of the Ottoman Empire and known as Semadirek (in Greek, Σαμοθρακη Samothraki) and published in 1863 

it was suggested that the Victory was erected by the Macedonian general Demetrius I Poliorcetes after his naval victory at Cyprus, between 295 and 289 BC. 

The Archaeological Museum of Samothrace continues to follow these originally established provenance and dates.[8] Ceramic evidence discovered in recent excavations has revealed that the pedestal was set up about 200 BC, though some scholars still date it as early as 250 BC or as late as 180.[9] Certainly, the parallels with figures and drapery from the Pergamon Altar (dated about 170 BC) seem strong. However, the evidence for a Rhodian commission of the statue has been questioned, and the closest artistic parallel to the Nike of Samothrace are figures depicted on Macedonian coins.[10] Samothrace was an important sanctuary for the Hellenistic Macedonian kings. The most likely battle commemorated by this monument is, perhaps, the battle of Cos in 255 BC, in which Antigonus II Gonatas of Macedonia won over the fleet of Ptolemy II of Egypt.[11]

In April 1863, the Victory was discovered by the French consul 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 1879 and assembled in situ before being shipped to Paris.

After 1884, the statue was positioned where it would visually dominate the Daru staircase.[12] Since 1883, the marble figure has been displayed in the Louvre, while a plaster replica stands in the museum at the original location of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace.


In the autumn of 1939, the Winged Victory was removed from her perch in anticipation of the outbreak of World War II. All the museums of Paris were closed on August 25. 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.[13] During the years of World War II, the statue sheltered in safety in the Château de Valençay along with the Venus de Milo and Michelangelo's Slaves.[14]

The discovery in 1948 of the hand raised in salute, which matched a fragment in Vienna, established the modern reconstruction — without trumpet — of the hand raised inepiphanic greeting.


Restoration 2013-2014[edit]

The Winged Victory of Samothrace, side view.

In 2013 a new work begun to restore the sculpture look better, and make the marble to its original hue tarnished by time. The statue was removed from its base and carried into an adjoining room transformed for the occasion into a restoration workshop. Then the base was dismantled block by block, and placed in the workshop, those blocks were examined for the first time. Scientific reviews were done (UV,InfraredX-ray, microspectroscopy ), before cleaning the surface of the marble. This restoration respected the first one dated 1883. The surface of the base was cleaned and then reassembled, some gaps were filled. The stone block that served as a base for the statue since 1934 was removed, and the statue was delivered directly to the ship. The falsework metal bar on the back of the statue could be removed.

Assessment, reception and influence[edit]

The Winged Victory of Samothrace, before restoration.

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. 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 loss of the head, while regrettable[by whom?] in a sense, is held by many to enhance the statue's depiction of the supernatural.

The art historian H.W. 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. The wind that has carried her and which she is fighting off, straining to keep steady – as mentioned the original mounting had her standing on a ship's prow, just having landed – is the invisible complement of the figure and the viewer is made to imagine it. At the same time, this expanded space heightens the symbolic force of the work; the wind and the sea are suggested as metaphors of struggle, destiny and divine help or grace. This kind of interplay between a statue and the space conjured up would become a common device in baroque and romantic art, about two thousand years later. It is present in Michelangelo's sculpture of David: David's gaze and pose shows where he is seeing his adversary Goliath and his awareness of the moment – but it is rare in ancient art.

The Victory soon became a cultural icon to which artists responded in many different ways. For example, Abbott Handerson Thayer's A Virgin (1892–93) is a well-known painted allusion. When Filippo Tommaso Marinetti issued his Futurist Manifesto in 1909, he chose to contrast his movement with the supposedly defunct artistic sentiments of the Winged Victory: "... a race-automobile which seems to rush over exploding powder is more beautiful than the 'Victory of Samothrace'."

The 1913 sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space by the Futuristic sculptor Umberto Boccioni, currently located at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, was highly influenced by the statue. It bears an underlying resemblance to Nike of Samothrace.[15]

Copies and derivative works[edit]

A copy at the Idaho State Capitol.

Numerous copies exist in museums and galleries around the world; one of the best-known copies stands outside the Caesars Palacecasino in Las Vegas. The first FIFA World Cup trophy, commissioned in 1930 and designed by Abel Lafleur, was based on the model.

This statue was a favorite of Frank Lloyd Wright and he used reproductions of it in a number of his buildings, including Ward Willits House,Darwin D. Martin House and Storer House.

Swedish author Gunnar Ekelöf made Nike a central image in his poem Samothrace, written in 1941,[16] where the faceless deity, arms outstretched like sails, is made into a symbol of the fight and the coming victory against Nazism and the struggle for freedom throughout history. It also features in the Matthew Reilly novel Seven Ancient Wonders, where it is fictionally made part of the Statue of Zeus at Olympia.

A full size plaster replica of the statue sits in The Ohio State University's Thompson Library in Columbus, Ohio.[17]

Another full size replica stands in the lobby of Crouse College, home to the Setnor School of Music, at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

A 7' replica of the sculpture stands at Connecticut College (New London, CT) where it serves iconic value to the College.

The second-largest replica of this statue in the United States stands at Calvary Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is 10' high.

Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas has a replica which was purchased from the Louvre and shipped from Paris in 1982. This replica is actually a replacement of the original 1929 replica given to commemorate Armistice Day and the defeat of autocracy.[18]

The Estrugamou Building in Buenos AiresArgentina was built in four sections, arranged around a patio adorned with a bronze copy of the iconic Winged Victory of Samothrace.

The Cape Town Cenotaph is topped by a replica of the Winged Victory of Samothrace by British sculptor Vernon March.

A replica of the statue sits overlooking the Veterans area of the Skylawn Memorial Park in San Mateo, California.[19]

Augustus Saint-Gaudens' 1903 equestrian statue of General William Tecumseh Sherman in Grand Army PlazaNew York City, depicts a robed, winged Nike leading Sherman while holding a palm branch, as a symbol of his victory in the Civil War and the peace to follow.[20]


On February 3, 1999, according to the Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, "residents of the Aegean island of Samothrace, the birthplace of the renowned Greek sculpture Nike of Samothrace, aka the Winged Victory, embarked on a letter-writing campaign to have this finest extant of Hellenistic sculpture returned to their homeland. In a letter signed by the island's mayor, the locals urged Greek politicians to intervene and request that the Louvre museum, where the statue is kept, acknowledge that the sculpture belongs in its natural environment."

On August 27, 1999, the artist Max Mulhern delivered a new Nike sculpture to the island of Samothraki as a gift to replace the missing original. The new sculpture was made of aluminium and had only one wing and one breast. This was a reference to the fact that the original was missing a wing and a breast when it arrived in Paris ( See La Revue De Famille, “La “Victoire" de Samothrace” by Ant. Héron de Villefosse,1872 issue number 4, pgs. 516 to 533. These were recreated by the Louvre before the sculpture was displayed to the public). The new Nike was welcomed by the citizens of the island. However the Greek Ministry of Culture refused access of the new sculpture to the site where the original Nike was discovered. The gift was buried in a field by the sea.

The documentary which recounts this chain of events is entitled "Max et La Sculpture Qui Marche" and was produced by Circa 01 in Paris.

During WW-II, she was kept in safety in a chateau with Venus di Milo and Michelangelo's Slaves. They became good friends and still sometimes get together for coffee after the museum closes. 

The sculptor is thought to be Pythokritos of Rhodes, but these things change all the time. One wing is a copy of the other, the original lost. Kept in a chateau...

what's special is that she includes the space around her, the wind. this hadn't been done before. Pretty genius.

Many copies around the world, even the FIFA trophy. outside Caesar's Palace Casino in Vegas


also, the samothracians wanted it back so they wrote the french, who sent them a nice metal replica, but the greeks said "pfui!", spat on it and buried it in a field.

and they gave them the replica of how they found the sculpture

very destroyed