Nike was the Greek goddess of victory. In 1863, archaeologists found a shattered statue of Nike on the Greek island of Samothrace. It was carted back to the Louvre Museum where it was reassembled. The head, arms and the right wing were missing. A reverse plaster cast was made of the left wing and attached as the right wing to give an idea of what the statue originally looked like. In 1948, the right hand was found, missing all but one finger and the thumb. It too is displayed in the Louvre.
The statue was constructed around 150 - 250 BC, and was originally displayed on a marble base, made in the shape of a ship's prow. It is believed that the figure was constructed to celebrate some long-forgotten Naval victory. The name of the very talented artist has also been lost to history.
A couple of years back I attempted a Photoshop reconstruction, and received comments from several people who have viewed the statue in the Louvre. Based on their comments and suggestions, I updated and improved my reconstruction. It is below, showing the statue as it now exists, and what it might have looked like when new. I based my reconstruction on various other statues of Nike. She is holding a laurel wreath, symbol of victory.
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