Stunning personification of triumph and icon of world art, the great Winged Victory (Nike) of Samothrace in the Louvre Museum has long captured the admiration and imagination of the world. While its modern setting is thrilling, the statue becomes all the more powerful in its ancient context in the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on the island of Samothrace. Recently, to mark the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Nike, and in conjunction with the Louvre’s conservation program, Bonna Wescoat and her team renewed investigations of the statue and its precinct in the Sanctuary of the Great Gods. In her lecture, she shares results of their new research on the design, setting, and history of this extraordinary monument.
Bonna Wescoat is professor of art history at Emory University where her research interests include ancient Greek art and architecture, with emphasis on archaic and Hellenistic architectural trends and architectural sculpture. She is the author of several books on these topics, including, most recently, The Temple of Athena at Assos (2012) and has been instrumental in the creation of digital platforms for sharing information about archeological subjects, specifically the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace where she serves as director of excavations. As the 2014–15 Allen W. Clowes Fellow at the National Humanities Center, she continued work on a book about the Sanctuary of the Great Gods and what its architectural remnants may reveal about the secret rituals conducted there.