Sculpture Description: Nike Victory of Samothrace

By September 24, 2018 General Studies

Nike Victory of Samothrace, is an incredibly sculpted work of art sought to portray power and victory. The textbook describes no artist to take credit for this amazing sculpture, but it was discovered by a French explorer in 1863; and was made in, approximately, 180 BCE. Like most ancient works of art, this piece is colorless, most likely due to paint wearing off over thousands of years. Nike (victory) of Samothrace, is a winged woman standing tall at 2.45 meters, in the Musee du Louvre, Paris; originating from the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, Samothrace.


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This sculpture strides forward on an elevated step atop the front ledge of a ship to portray the message of accomplishment and power. The three-dimensional piece is missing her arms and head, for unknown reasons. However, after careful observation, one could interpret what position her arms would have been in. One shoulder is left and appears to be raised high; so, it would be fair to say the woman’s arms were up and in a stance of power. The entire sculpture appears to be soaking wet and her dress clings to her body, allowing her idealistic physique to show through the wet fabric. Her weight is balanced between both legs as she appears to be walking confidently; wings up and spread, as if she’s about to take flight. As her dress clings close to and around her body; and wings spread so far back; it’s easy to tell that the aggressive wind is challenging her, but unable to knock her down.


As Nike (Victory) of Samothrace, takes a step onto the ledge into the brisk morning light. The lighting projected onto this sculpture is empowering; it appears to be making the wings the focal point of the whole piece.Most of the shadows are on her body, enhancing the wet folds of the dress; showing off her curvy, womanly figure.


As of today, the sculpture gives off a bronze hue, but no distinct decorative paint or oils. There’s evidence to support that all Greek sculpture…


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