(12) Have you missed "Nike of Samothrace"? An explanation of the Louvre's greatest treasure, which is often overlooked!

Impressions of the Summer Recounted in Autumn - Trip to Paris and Georgia

(12) The Louvre's treasure "Nique of Samothrace" was too good to be true - a masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture that I highly recommend!

Previous Article(11) Claude Lorrain, Dostoevsky's favorite idealist landscape painter, was discovered at the Louvre Museum. He and his contemporary, the genius Poussin, were introduced."In the following section, I talked about my encounter with Poussin and Claude Lorrain at the Louvre Museum.

And now I would like to talk about the Louvre's greatest treasure, "Nike of Samothrace".

You will encounter this work rather soon after entering the sculpture area. Moreover, it is displayed in a very conspicuous location that visitors will surely pass by when heading to the painting area, which includes "Mona Lisa" and other works, so it should not be missed.

I am ashamed to admit that I knew very little about this work before I came to the Louvre. As I mentioned in my previous article, I had little interest in this sculpture or the Louvre itself.

But in front of this statue I froze.

It was hard to see the details in the photo above, but how about this one? It is hard to see the details in the photo above, but how about this one?

Pay particular attention to the area around the abdomen. Can you see the almost thin skin covering the skin? I could not help but be astonished at the almost translucent texture. The folds of the robe were graceful, supple, and pleasant to look at. I could not take my eyes off Nike any longer.

Now, this "Nike of Samothrace" is a sculpture discovered in 1863 on the island of Samothrace in the Aegean Sea, and "Nike" is a word meaning "goddess.

And this niche is thought to have been produced around 190 B.C. during the Hellenistic period.

The background of Hellenism is that it was a cosmopolitan civilization, pursuing universal beauty. The heyday of ancient Greek civilization was more than 300 years before Nike. Ancient Greek civilization was seeking for "Greek religiosity," and therefore, it was more concerned with "Greek and religious" than "universal beauty" (of course, the quality of Greek art is still outstanding).

In contrast, Hellenism was a civilization that spread throughout the entire Mediterranean world, so it needed something that appealed to various people, not just to one region or religion. This is why they pursued overwhelming beauty that everyone would find beautiful.

But still beautiful...

The exquisite moments are captured as if they are about to start moving at any moment. You can feel the wind blowing from the front, or even the flow of air created by the artist's own forward motion. The upper half of the body is tilted slightly forward, giving it a forward propulsive force. In addition, both wings extend backward, placing the center of gravity at an exquisite point where it could not be otherwise.

How beautiful were the right foot, which was lightly lowered onto the boat from the toe, and the left foot, which was stretched out smoothly. I have no words to express my feelings. I can only admire them. I like Nike best when I see it from this angle. I can feel the most movement and the most grace shines through.

Look at the lightness of this robe. Look at the suppleness that clings to the legs. Can you believe that it is made of stone? I believe that I am looking at the ultimate in sculpture, something that has gone beyond the breaking point.

If you compare it with the sculpture on the right, the difference may be clearer. This one was in the hall before reaching the nike. This is another ancient Greek sculpture, said to have been made between 500 and 30 BC. In other words, the date of production is such a mystery that it is not even clear whether it is Greek or Hellenistic.

Frankly, I like this piece as well. No, I like it a lot. The proportions are superb, and the beauty of the robe matches the marble pattern, making it very beautiful. The twists and turns of the body are exquisite.

However! What if we compare it to Nike?

It is obvious how delicately and gracefully the nike is carved. And I thought again, "No matter how beautiful the clothes look on the other sculptures, they are still stone. No matter how beautiful the clothes of other sculptures may look, they are still stone. However, Nike is beyond stone and really looks as if it is wearing a garment. It has transcended stone.

This one was also in the same hall, and I would say that the modeling of the folds and movements of the robe are of a very high standard. Frankly speaking, one can only marvel at it. It means that such a superb technique was already engraved on many works from ancient Greece to the Hellenistic period.

However! What if we compare it to Nike?

Niquet dares to restrain his superb technique. The creator of this sculpture could have gone to any length to show off his virtuosity. But he did not. He minimized his virtuosity, and yet he perfectly hit the one point where it would be maximized. Why didn't he let his whole body hit the rippling folds? No, the terrifying transparency of the thin abdominal skin was enough for him.

The smallest and the largest. By daring to restrain superb technique, it lives to the fullest. This was the first time for me to be so impressed by "restraint" in art. I was also surprised when I saw it. I even stopped breathing for a while.

When you actually see it up close, you can visualize this wonderful sculpture in three dimensions. In photographs, the sculpture is flat. The difference is tremendous. The Nike I saw at the site was perfect. It was so perfect that it made me sigh. I forget my fatigue when I see this statue. I could not move in front of the statue for a while.

This sensation was created by Michelangelo in St. Peter's Basilica, which I visited three years ago.Statue of PietaIt is comparable to

This statue was created when Michelangelo was about 24 years old, and is a sculpture in which his talent as a sculptor was fully demonstrated.

For me, this was the most memorable one of all the Vatican.

Maria's sad but compassionate expression.

And the expression of the dead Jesus. The body without strength.

The lightness of the garment as if mass had been lost from the marble.

I can't take my eyes off it...too beautiful...!

I just kept looking at the statue, absorbed in it. All the while, my mind was almost nothing. I could think of nothing.

The statue of Pieta in my field of vision was all I had.

Then I suddenly came to myself and 15 minutes had passed.

It is strange to think about it now, but I was so captivated that my consciousness was taken away for 15 minutes.

I was truly surprised at the time, wondering if this was what it meant to be fascinated by art.

I ended up looking at the statue for nearly an hour.

And every day I came here, I continued to be captivated by this statue.

I felt the same level of things from this nike.

This statue is that wonderful. I would even recommend that you spend more time here than at the Mona Lisa. As I mentioned in my previous article, "Mona Lisa" is, of course, extremely crowded. As soon as you catch a glimpse of it, you are forced to leave due to the pressure behind you. It is impossible to enjoy the film carefully.

But this niche is different. In fact, although it is also the face of the Louvre, the quality of its crowds is completely different.

As you can see from this picture, there are indeed many people.

Most of them, however, leave as soon as the photo is taken. There are no big lines like in "Mona Lisa" and no pressure from behind.

When people visit the Louvre, as I did, they all go to see the Mona Lisa. This statue is at the passing point of the Mona Lisa. That is why people don't spend a long time here, but just move on to the next statue.

In other words, this nickel statue is almost a no-brainer. Even if I had known about it, I would have just said, "Oh, this is it. Let's take a commemorative photo," and that would be the end of it.

Therefore, even though there was a flow of people around this niche, it did not affect the appreciation of the sculpture at all. In fact, I was able to stay in front of the statue for a while and enjoy the sculpture with little stress.

The position where I am taking pictures is on the landing a little higher up the stairs, so it is very easy to see and few people come here to take commemorative photos. It is also a great place to see Nike from the best angle.

In this photo, it is the space diagonally to the right.

It is almost impossible to watch something like this so stress-free.

To use an analogy, it is like being able to see the Ashura statue at the Kofukuji exhibition in Tokyo stress-free, with no waiting in line. There is nothing more gratifying than that.

The Nike of Samothrace" is the ultimate in beauty. You can watch it stress-free. What do you think? It seems to me that there is no way not to enjoy it.

I highly recommend this Nique to anyone who goes to the Louvre. No, I would like you to visit the Louvre only to see Nique. It is definitely worth it.

Why not experience its beauty?

be unbroken

Next Article.

Click here to read the previous article.

Related Articles