Art History Nike of Samothrace

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"Nike of Samothrace" was sculpted in second century AD during the hellenistic culture. This 8ft high sculpture was found on an island called Samothrace, north of the Aegean, and though beautifully carved, the artist is not known. It was discovered at a sanctuary in a harbor that faced the predominate wind. It was as if the wind was blowing directly on the sculpture itself. The Nike was made to act like a figure head on the prow of a ship, and though it never really was on a ship, it was the bow of a stone ship in a temple like building. The "Nike of Samothrace" is greatly appreciated because of the strong force of motion, and realistic qualities, as well as its symbolic references to the Greek culture. The Greeks period has come a long way when we look at the way the Archaic/Egyptian period and Hellenistic period carved and shaped people. The Archaic and Egyptians sculpted people and clothes flat and simple. Their bodies did not twist very much and were pretty straight. The clothes on the people were basically just lines, or slits in the stone, and was not really realistic. Comparing this to the way the Hellenistic period carved their people, they used a lot of motion and movement. There people twisted in different directions as they would in real life, and their clothes were deeply carved and looked very real. The "Nike of Samothrace" was carved out of marble, and accurately shows texture in the wings, and the folds in the cloth. The Greek culture had studied and celebrated the body and they used their knowledge to show expressive forces in their art. They used hammers and chisels to create beautiful, realistic flows on the stone, and made it look like it was actually moving. The "Nike of Samothrace" is a carving beautiful, voluptuous woman in a flowing dress with two large wings out stretched behind her. This statue had lost her head and arms, but is still recognizable as the Nike of victory. Her body movements and intricate detail of her tunic is very...
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