"WINGED VICTORY OF SAMOTHRACE"
AT THE LOUVRE
THAT'S IN PARIS - FRANCE
A presentation mixing grandeur and theatricality
This exceptional monument was unearthed in 1863 on the small island of Samothrace in the northwest Aegean. It was discovered by Charles Champoiseau, French Vice-Consul to Adrianople (Turkey). The goddess of Victory (Nike, in Greek) is shown in the form of a winged woman standing on the prow of a ship, braced against the strong wind blowing through her garments. With her right hand cupped around her mouth, she announced the event she was dedicated to commemorate. The colossal work was placed in a rock niche that had been dug into a hill; it overlooked the theater of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods. This niche may also have contained a pool filled with water in which the ship appeared to float. Given its placement, the work was meant to be viewed from the front left-hand side; this explains the disparity in sculpting technique, the right side of the body being much less detailed. The highly theatrical presentation-combined with the goddess's monumentality, wide wingspan, and the vigor of her forward-thrusting body-reinforces the reality of the scene.
I went to the "Passport to Paris" show at the Denver Art Museum on sunday. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing -
A beautiful day for driving. That said it's an OK show - nothing to write home about. It might be because I'm so jaded - you may have to judge for yourself if you happen to be in Denver for some other activity it would be worth a stop but not a drive just to see it. It did make me want to transport myself to the Louvre though - so I got out some old photos of trips to Paris and here's the first painting ever of my time there. I love the Louvre!
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