winged nike of samothrace

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The Winged Victory of Samothrace, also called the Nike of Samothrace, is a 2nd-century BC marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory). Since 1884, it has been prominently displayed at the Louvre and is one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world. H.W. Janson described it as “the greatest masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture.

The sculptor is thought to be Pythokritos of Rhodes.

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Also called the Nike of Samothrace, is a 2nd-century BC marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory). Since 1884, it has been prominently displayed at the Louvre and is one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world. H.W. Janson described it as “the greatest masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture." The Nike of Samothrace, discovered in 1863, is estimated to have been created around 200–190 BCE. It is 8 feet (2.44 metres) high. 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 through its features.

Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921)
“A Virgin” (1893)
Oil on canvas

Thayer began this group portrait of his children, Gladys, Mary, and Gerald, soon after the untimely death of their mother in 1891. He originally envisioned the central figure, Mary, as Flora, the Greek goddess of flowers, but as the work progressed he decided to make her a Greek “Victory” figure instead, with clouds billowing behind her like wings.

The model for Mary’s dramatic stance is the famous Hellenistic sculpture in the Louvre, the Nike of Samothrace, known as the Winged Victory.