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Nike - Just Do It

Of all of the magnificent works of art at the Louvre, there are a few that really blow my mind.  People often ask me during tours what my favorite is, and I seem to have a different answer every few days.  Although more often than not, my answer is Nike of Samothrace, the Winged Victory.

It seems to be a common favorite of my tour guests as well.  On the occasions that people have been overcome with emotion during a tour, it’s always with her.  She’s a masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture, capturing the instant when the goddess Nike descends to alight on the warship - just one foot fully touching the base.  I imagine the huge fluttering wings slowing her descent to touch down lightly as her body is buffeted by the wind and spray that shift the folds of her clothing.  The unknown sculptor managed to convey the impression the clothing is wet as the fabric clings tightly to the contours of her torso, exposing her belly button.   It's often hard for me to truly grasp that his was chiseled in marble more than 2,000 years ago using relatively simple tools.

Most visitors just want to take her picture, or pose with her.  But sadly few seem to really look at her.  If you happen to be in Paris, I highly recommend you pay her a visit.    If you like, I’d even be happy to introduce you to her myself.  

But in the meantime, you have another chance to get to know her better.  The Louvre website offers a closer look at this spectacular work.  Giving us a chance to marvel in her beauty and better understand the details that make her so special.    

See Nike of Samothrace - A Closer Look at the Winged Victory

Images: © Louvre Museum Paris

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Reader Comments (1)

Now that is one great and amazing piece of art, from far it looks like it's made of gold.

December 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandy Allain

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