Why Do People Love the Winged Victory of Samothrace?

by Cristian I

The Winged Victory of Samothrace was part of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods. It’s an ancient temple complex that is on the island of which the statue was named.

Winged Victory Of Samothrace – Where?

If you want to visit what is arguably the best art collection in the world, you’ll need to visit the Louvre in Paris. Not only is it the home of the Mona Lisa, but you can also find an entire gallery dedicated to the works of Michelangelo.

You can find the Venus de Milo at the Louvre, a Great Sphinx, and one of history’s most famous sculptures that everyone loves: the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

This marble masterpiece has an exciting history to it, with roots anchored in ancient stories.

The Victory of Samothrace after the restoration of 2014
The Victory of Samothrace after the restoration of 2014 – Wiki

When Was the Winged Victory of Samothrace Created?

The marble Hellenistic sculpture of Nike was believed to have been sculpted around 2,200 years ago. It has been on permanent display in the Louvre since 1884, enshrined as one of its showcase items. The artistry is often described as the greatest masterpiece of its era that we’ve so far discovered.

What makes it unique is that the Romans often copied the Hellenistic sculptures. It’s one of only a small number of major art pieces that have survived.

It is not entirely original. Artists added the right-wing to the sculpture by mirroring what they found on the left one.

The context of the sculpture is not entirely known. Some experts believe it was created to celebrate or remember the Battle of Salamis around 300 BC. It could also be the Battle of Actium about 300 years later. A few scholars have even proposed that the Winged Victory of Samothrace could be a Rhodian monument carved by Pythocritus.

The base in the form of a ship's prow
The base in the form of a ship’s prow

Description of the Winged Victory of Samothrace

The Winged Victory of Samothrace stands just over eight feet tall. Most scholars agree that the goddess was made to honor some sort of naval action because of how she conveys triumph and movement while wearing flowing draperies.

Modern excavations suggest that the statue might have been part of a complex theater or accompanied by an altar within view of a port or ship monument. Before the Winged Victory of Samothrace lost her arms (which have not been recovered), it is believed that the right arm was raised to deliver a cry of victory.

It’s notable from an artistic sense because the statue does an excellent job of providing a convincing, violent motion while having a place where sudden stillness arrives.

As for the wings found on the statue, the right one is made of plaster, an asymmetric version of the original left. The feathering pattern doesn’t resemble the wings from Greek art or how birds were portrayed by art. Researchers have not found the head, but a team has located the missing right hand.

Greece Has Called for Its Return for More Than a Decade

The Winged Victory of Samothrace was part of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods. It’s an ancient complex temple that is on the island of which the statue was named.

An amateur archaeologist is credited with finding the statue within the seaside shrine, dedicated to a mystery religion that honored the Great Mother. Since several naval battles took place in the area and Samothrace is on the Aegean’s primary maritime route, the island likely served as a wealthy trading port in the ancient world.

It might even be fair to say that Samothrace could have been the equivalent to Las Vegas today.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace is one of the most celebrated sculptures in history because of its pure artistic merit. The statue has undergone two extensive restorations since it went on display in the 19th century. Still, it is the ongoing influence it has on other artists that make it a remarkable piece.

Two variations of the sculpture have become famous in their own right. Umberto Boccioni used the iconic stance for his work called Unique Forms of Continuity in Space. It’s seen as. Another expression of fluidity and movement created originally in plaster. The original is on display in Sao Paulo, while two bronze casts from 1931 are also available for viewing.

The second is from a sculpture by Salvador Dali that he called Double Nike de Samothrace. It is also cast in bronze, offering a mirrored reflection that stands connected at the front. It was created in 1973, standing about 15 inches tall.

Greece has been asking the Louvre to return the Winged Victory of Samothrace for more than a decade, with the island’s residents embarking on a lengthy letter-writing campaign. At this time, France has no plans to honor that request.

 

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