AP®︎/College Art History
- The classical orders
- The Athenian Agora and the experiment in democracy
- Anavysos Kouros
- Peplos Kore from the Acropolis
- Making Greek vases
- Niobid Painter, Niobid Krater
- Polykleitos, Doryphoros (Spear Bearer)
- Polykleitos, Doryphoros (Spear-Bearer)
- Parthenon (Acropolis)
- The Parthenon
- Who owns the Parthenon sculptures?
- Phidias, Parthenon sculptures (pediments, metopes and frieze)
- "Plaque of the Ergastines" fragment from the frieze on the east side of the Parthenon
- Victory (Nike) Adjusting Her Sandal, Temple of Athena Nike (Acropolis)
- Grave Stele of Hegeso
- Winged Victory (Nike) of Samothrace
- Great Altar of Zeus and Athena at Pergamon
- Alexander Mosaic from the House of the Faun, Pompeii
- Apollonius, Seated Boxer
Nike (Winged Victory) of Samothrace, Lartos marble (ship) and Parian marble (figure), c. 190 B.C.E. 3.28m high, Hellenistic Period (Musée du Louvre, Paris). The sculpture was unearthed in 1863 after its discovery under the direction of Charles Champoiseau, the French Vice-Consul to Turkey. Please note that the theoretical reconstruction of the Nike as a trumpeter mentioned in the video has been largely abandoned; the monument is now thought to have been part of a fountain possibly commemorating a naval victory. Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.
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- At0:10, he says that this is from the "2nd Century CE, or after Christ", but then immediately after, she says this is from the Hellenistic Period (323 BC to 146 BC). Did he mean to say this was from the 2nd Century BC? The title says 190 BCE, so I'm guessing he didn't mean to say "after christ".(16 votes)
- I believe Dr. Zucker simply misspoke.In the title, it is dated circa 190 B.C.E., which would put it in the early 2nd century B.C. (B.C.E.). This fits well into the Hellenistic period.(12 votes)
- So the shoe company Nike was named after this goddess?(9 votes)
- Does anyone know which people group built this? Was it the Romans?(5 votes)
- We know that this was built by Greeks during the Hellenistic period, around 190 BC.(16 votes)
- So, was there a difference between how Nike was depicted in Classical and Hellenistic images?(4 votes)
- Yes, there is a noticeable difference between how Nike (and all other subjects) were depicted in the Hellenistic v.s. the Classical periods. In the classical period, sculptures took more stationary, relaxed, idealistic poses, such as in this Nike by Paeonius.
In the Hellenistic period, artists wanted to convey more movement and emotion in their sculpture, rather than the distant, otherworldly expressions of the previous era. The Samothrace Nike is a great example of this.(9 votes)
- Is the pedestal it's sitting on now the only available image of what the original stone ship looked like?
And a bonus would be, what did the whole scene look like? Was it part of a temple complex or anything?(4 votes)
- No, not Athens nor Anthens nor acropolis. A temple complex in Samothrace, I believe. Images are available.(3 votes)
- So.... is Nike's arch nemesis Adidas?(3 votes)
- would this sculpture have been painted?(3 votes)
- Yes, it would have been painted with en-caustic, which is pigment melted into beeswax and painted on the marble.
When I was a kid, we used to do something similar by partially melting crayons and brushing the melted crayon wax onto paper.(3 votes)
- Did she ever have arms or a head or did she lose them ?(2 votes)
- Marble is very fragile material. Sculptors often carved torsos separately from heads (sometimes) and from arms, particularly arms held out and away from the body. The elements can become detached. They also can break off.(3 votes)
- I would like to learn more about the history of Nike sculpture because the video is too short. Please, thank you!(1 vote)
- Does anyone actually know what the sculpture looked like intact, or was everything lost in time?(1 vote)
(gentle piano music) - [Beth] We're standing in the Louvre, looking at the very famous Nike of Samothrace. Now a Nike personifies victory. - [Steven] And was the goddess of victory as well. This sculpture is 18 feet tall if you include the ship that she stands on. And it's placed at the top of one of the grand staircases, so it is incredibly dramatic. - [Beth] She was found in pieces. She wasn't found whole the way that we see her today, and she's been reconstructed. The pieces that were missing have been filled in. And she was recently restored. - [Steven] Originally, this was placed in the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on the Island of Samothrace in the northeastern Aegean Sea. But we should say that we have very little information about this particular cult. What we do have is a magnificent sculpture. It was carved during the Hellenistic period. This is after the classical period, after Alexander the Great created one of the largest empires the world had known to that date. And it was a period when Greek art was extremely expressive. And in fact, art historians often pair this sculpture in its style with a sculpture that we find on the great frieze at the Altar of Zeus at Pergamon. - [Beth] In both cases, there's a sense of energy, and drama, and power. And although we can compare the drapery that clings in these complex folds to the body, to the sculptures on the earlier Parthenon, there's so much more drama here. - [Steven] I love the way in which the drape seems to be whipped by the wind. And it's interesting to note that the way that this ship would have originally been oriented, it would have been facing towards the coast with the wind coming off the sea. And so the actual wind on Samothrace would have functioned as a collaborator with the illusion of the sculpture. - [Beth] Now Nike figures are not unusual in ancient Greek art. To me, what's so special about this figure is the tension between the lower half of the body and the upper half. She's clearly alighting, landing on this ship, but with the lower part of her body, I feel that pull downward. But the upper part of her body seems to still be held aloft, and so her torso stretches up and twists slightly in the opposite direction of her legs. So there's this upward movement, but downward movement at the same time - [Steven] The sense of naturalism is so extraordinary that there seems to be nothing improbable about the wings attached to the shoulders of this figure. It just seems completely natural. - [Beth] It used to be thought that perhaps this figure stood within a fountain and perhaps was blowing a trumpet or offering a crown of victory, but we now think that her hand was simply outstretched. Either she was in an open sanctuary or a slightly enclosed sanctuary. I love the pinkish white, almost golden color of the marble that she's carved from and the grayish color of the ship. - [Steven] There's a wonderful contrast between those two materials. Although she's lost her head, and both of her arms, and other bits and pieces as well, we are so lucky to have this sculpture this intact. - [Beth] Well think about all that's been lost that didn't survive and the incredible achievements of ancient Greek and specifically Hellenistic art. (gentle piano music)