. . . THERE WAS NIKE of SAMOTHRACE
Winged Victory of Samothrace is one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world.
Also known as The Winged Victory of Samothrace (Greek: Σαμοθρακη — Samothraki), she is a second century B.C. marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory). Since 1884, Victory has been prominently displayed at the Louvre. Conveying a sense of action and triumph as well as portraying artful flowing drapery, her features approach that which the Ancient Greeks considered ideal beauty.
Rendered in white Parian marble by an unknown sculptor in approximately 190 BC, Victory originally formed part of the Samothrace temple complex dedicated to the Great Gods, Megalon Theon. Created to not only honor the goddess, Nike, but to commemorate a sea battle; possibly by the Macedonian general Demetrius I Poliorcetes after his naval victory at Cyprus between 295 and 289 BC.
Victory originally stood on a rostral pedestal of gray marble from Lartos representing the prow of a ship and represents the goddess Nike as she descends from the skies to the triumphant fleet. Before she lost her arms, which have never been recovered, Nike's right arm was raised, cupped round her mouth to deliver the shout, "VICTORY!"
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, depicted as if rippling in a strong sea breeze, which is considered especially compelling.
Nike of Samothrace is seen as an iconic depiction of triumphant spirit and of the divine momentarily coming face to face with man. Many believe the power of the work is enhanced by the very fact that the head and arms are missing.