Nike (Medium plywood) - The Hellenic Marbles
The "Hellenic Marbles" are images of historically significant Greek sculptures transposed onto plywood. These have been produced for Dig if U will exclusively.
Nike (mini plywood print) is 19 cm wide x 28 cm high.
A little bit about Nike, the winged Victory:
Upon the death of Alexander the Great there was much disputing among his generals as to what should become of the various provinces of his empire, including Greece. It was finally decided that the Greek cities should be left free. A general named Ptolemy soon broke this agreement and entered Greece, whereupon another named Antigonus promptly proceeded to punish him. Antigonus had a son Demetrius, who was a skilful engineer, and was called Poliorcetes, "besieger of cities," for his success in raising sieges. He was sent to Athens with a fleet of two hundred and fifty ships, and won the gratitude of the city for delivering it from the hands of Ptolemy. Demetrius next turned his attention to the island of Cyprus, of which Ptolemy was in possession. The rival forces met off Salamis, 306 B. C., in a fierce sea fight, and Demetrius was victorious.
The Greeks were fond of commemorating notable events by the erection of statues, and it was an old custom among them to set up a statue of victory in honor of any success of arms on land or sea. So in war, greatly as they praised their armies and their generals, it was to Nike, the goddess of victory, that they gave the chief credit of success. This goddess was conceived as a winged being attendant upon both Zeus and Athena, who, as we have seen, controlled the destinies of war.
To Nike then, this winged goddess of victory, was due the wonderful success of Demetrius over Ptolemy's fleet before Salamis, and it was fitting that her statue should commemorate the event. The spot chosen for it was the island of Samothrace, which stands so high above water level that it is very conspicuous in the northern Greek archipelago.
The goddess was represented standing on the prow of a vessel as if leading the fleet to success.
When the statue was set up and the colossal figure in white marble was seen against the blue sky of a southern land, what an inspiration it must have been as a symbol of success!
Years passed, and at length the independence of the Greeks was crushed under the heel of the Roman conqueror. Temples were destroyed and pillaged, and statues were thrown from their pedestals and buried beneath the soil and débris. Our statue of Nike shared the sad fate that befell so many other great works of art.
The head and arms are still missing, and success has been dearly bought, but the goddess emerges, erect and undaunted, her tattered wings beating the air victoriously. As we look at the statue we think less of what it lacks than of what it is.
The figure gives us a sense of motion which fairly quickens the blood in our veins. We, too, seem to feel the strong salt breeze in our faces, speeding through the air with courage high, and hope steadily set toward victory.