The ‘Nike of Samothrace,’ also known as ‘The Winged Victory of Samothrace’ is a marble sculpture representing the goddess, Nike (Victory)
This Hellenistic statue with its characteristic windblown draperies has been the presiding Queen of the Louvre since its discovery in 1863 on the island of Samothrace.
She is an imposing eight-foot tall iconic figure displayed at the head of the Daru staircase. Her central position symbolically divides the visitors ascending the stairs to the right and left.
In my science fiction time-travel novel in progress, ‘Cherry White,’ the Nike represents the victory of humans splitting from their ape ancestors 43,000 years ago to create the first cave paintings at Lascaux, France.
If creativity symbolizes the pinnacle of man’s evolution, then the muses of old, charged with guiding the minds of artists, may be the ethereal winged messengers who continue to influence the evolution of the arts.
The statue’s arms are now lost, however, the right hand was recovered along with an earlier relic of a finger, and both are displayed under glass in the Louvre Museum.
If Nike’s head were to be found it would alter forever this enigmatic messenger who sees more and says more without eyes or mouth.