Nike of Samothrace

Topics: Hellenistic art, Winged Victory of Samothrace, Hellenistic civilization Pages: 4 (1100 words) Published: April 22, 2013
Jani Smith|
Ancient Cultures 212|
March 18, 2013|

Winged Victory

Hellenistic architecture and style2
Composition and atmosphere2
Genres and audience3

One of the best known works of Hellenistic sculpture is Nike of Samothrace, now located in the Louvre museum in Paris. It is a demonstrative, and powerful sculpture which encapsulates everything great about Ancient Greece. The sculpture is made of Rhodian marble, stands 2.45 meters tall and 2.35 meters wide including its wings (Burn, 2004, p. 89). Nike’s sculptor is not well known, however it is presumed to have been constructed by the sculptor Pythokritos (Pollitt, 1986, p. 114) during the early second century BC.

Nike was discovered in 1863 by the French consul and amateur archaeologist Charles Champoiseau, in the sanctuary of the Great Gods at Samothrace where it was originally set up. Nike is traditionally associated with the victories that was obtained by the Rhodian fleet over the Antiochos III off Side and Myonnesos in 190/89 BCE (Ridgway, 2000, p. 50). The base of the statue is in the form of a ship’s prow (Pollitt, 1986:113), and the goddess is represented as if she has just alighted on the ship, with her wings still beating and her drapery fluttering in the wind.

Hellenistic architecture and style
This breath taking sculpture was created in the period when baroque style developed. The characteristic features include acanthus column bases, modillion cornices, Corinthian capitals with S-shaped spirals, segmental pediments, half–pediments and curved entablatures (Bugh, 2006:171). Baroque sculptures are well known for their powerful and immense size, the twist and turn of their body theatrically in space, frequently clad in drapery that is in motion or semi-transparent (Pollitt, 1986:114)

Composition and atmosphere
A sense of drama is created through the sculptor’s...

Cited: Bugh, G. R. 2006. The Cambridge Companion To THE HELLENISTIC WORLD. New-York, USA: Cambridge University Press.
Burn, L. 2004. Hellenistic Art FROM ALEXANDER THE GREAT TO AUGUSTUS. Los Angeles, USA: The British Museum Company.
Fowler, B. H. 1989. THE HELLENISTIC AESTHETIC. Wisconsin, USA: The University of Wisconsin Press.
Pollitt, J. (1986). Art in the Hellenistic Age. New-York, USA: Cambridge University Press.
Ridgway, B. S. 2000. Hellenistic Sculpture II, The styles of ca. 200-100B.C. Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press.
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