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Winged Victory of Samothrace

190 BC.

This impressive statue of the goddess of Victory, called Nike, commemorates a battle won by the inhabitants of Rhodes over Syria and is another example of Hellenistic art. Victory was a popular goddess in this era. The scale and composition of this sculpture have impressed visitors to the Louvre for more than a century.

The huge statue was discovered in hundreds of pieces in 1863, in Samothrace, a little-known island in the north of the Aegean. Once she would have been located on the top of a hill overlooking the sea. Like the Venus de Milo, Nike would also have been decorated and painted. Her head and arms are sadly missing. It is said that parts of the goddess and the prow of a ship arrived in France at different times because initially they were not recognized as belonging to each other.

Nike has been at the top of this staircase since 1883. However, perhaps today the name of the goddess is more known for a popular clothing brand than for this statue. But yes, if you look closely at the logo of the popular brand Nike you will see that it is inspired by the shape of the goddesses wings.

Louvre