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Winged Victory of Samothrace
This impressive statue of the goddess of Victory, called Nike, commemorates a naval battle won by the Rhodes inhabitants over Syria and is another example of Hellenistic art. Victory was a popular goddess in that era.
The scale and composition of the sculpture have impressed visitors of the Louvre for more than a century. It was discovered in hundreds of pieces in 1863, in Samothrace, a little-known island in the north of the Aegean. You could think that once, she would have been located on the top of a hill overlooking the sea. However, the reality is that it was situated in the prow of a boat, although it is said that parts of the goddess statue and the prow of its ship arrived in France at different times, since initially, they were not recognized as belonging to each other.
Like the Venus de Milo, Nike would also have been decorated and painted. Her head and arms are sadly missing.
Nike has been at the top of this staircase since 1883. However, nowadays the name of the goddess is perhaps more known due to the clothing brand rather than for this statue: if you look closely at the logo of the popular brand “Nike”, you will see that it is inspired by the shape of the goddess wings.