H: 11" Cold Cast Marble-like Resin
The Winged Victory of Samothrace, also called the Nike of Samothrace, is a third century B.C. marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory).
Rendered in white Parian marble, the winged goddess of Victory overlooked the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on the island of Samothrace. It stood on a pedestal of gray marble representing the prow of a ship, and represents the goddess 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 of Victory.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace is one of the masterpieces of Hellenistic sculpture. The figure creates a spiraling effect in a composition that opens out in various directions. This is achieved by the oblique angles of the wings and the placement of the left leg, and emphasized by the clothing blowing between the goddess's legs. The nude female body is revealed by the transparency of the wet drapery, much in the manner of classical works from the fifth century BC, while the cord worn just beneath the breasts recalls a clothing style that was popular beginning in the fourth century. In the treatment of the tunic-sometimes brushing against the body, sometimes billowing in the wind-the sculptor has been remarkably skillful in creating visual effects.
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. The statue was originally unearthed in 1863. In 1950, a team led by Karl Lehmann unearthed the missing right hand. 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 a second Winged Victory is displayed; the fragments have been reunited with the hand, which is now in a glass case in the Louvre next to the podium on which the statue stands.
The product of an unknown sculptor, presumably of Rhodian origin, the Victory is believed to date to between 220 and 190 BC. Despite its significant damage and incompleteness, the Victory is held to be one of the great surviving masterpieces of sculpture from the Hellenistic period. 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 it is today displayed in the most dramatic fashion, at the head of the sweeping Daru staircase.
The loss of the head and arms, while regrettable in a sense, is held by many to enhance the statue's depiction of the supernatural. Numerous copies exist in museums and galleries around the world; one of the best-known copies stands outside the Caesars Palace casino in Las Vegas. The Rolls-Royce radiator figurine, Spirit of Ecstasy, was also based on the Nike of Samothrace. This statue was a favorite of Frank Lloyd Wright and he used reproductions of it in a number of his buildings.
Now you can have your own!
The quality of the casting of this figurine is excellent, with good detail, and the cold cast resin has a natural sheen and weight and will blend well with authentic and more expensive antique pieces.
(some information adapted from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, and the Louvre Museum website)