Details on Samothrace Victory...

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01/30/17 - It is believed that the Greek had the happy idea of representing Victory as a winged woman, a messenger from Zeus. In 1863, Charles Champoiseau discovered the monument in the island of Samothrace, north of the Egeus sea. It has three parts: A rectangular plinth, a base representing the prow of a ship and the statue of the Victory. The plinth and the base are made with grey marble from Rhodes, while the Victory is made of white marble from Paros. In the 19th century part of the wing and the body were restored using plaster cast. But it was in 2004, during another restoration, that traces of coloring in the wings and drapes, dating back to Antiquity, were discovered. Pieces from the ship were also incorporated, from original fragments that can be found at the Archaeological Museum of Samothrace. 

Samotrace sanctuary was dedicated to the Gods that protected sailors from shipwrecks and guaranteed success in battle.  
Because of the virtuosity of the statue we can date its creation to the end of the 3rd century or somewhere between the 2nd century b.C. It is related to the statues of the altar of Pergamon, built around 180-160 b.C. In 190 a.C., Rhodes creates an alliance with Pergamon and Rome against Antiochus III of Syria, who is defeated in the battles of Side and Mioneso. The Victory of Samothrace could commemorate these events, so it could have been done a bit later.
To cover the magnificence of the statue, the experts at the Louvre advice visitors to contemplate it from the left side, in a 3/4 angle. The extension of the stride that expresses the strength of the movement, the wings and the complex disposition of the draping of the dress were made with that angle in mind. This is confirmed by the outline of the foundations of the monument, crosswise towards the observer. 
The question is, then, why is she placed facing the visitors, at the entrance of the Denon wing.
Drawing of the view from which was seen in Antiquity



Victory of Samothrace, Louvre Museum.

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Liliana Wrobel


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