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Bronze figure of Nike, goddess of victory

Nike, goddess of Victory Greek, around 550 BC

 

Height: 16.000 cm
Diameter: 17.000 cm

Bequeathed by R. Payne Knight

GR 1824.4-97.21 (Bronze 491)

Greece and Rome

    Bronze figure of Nike, goddess of victory

    Greek, around 550 BC
    Made in southern Italy, perhaps at Taranto

    Probably from a large bowl

    Nike is shown here running forwards. Her right foot is placed delicately on a rising scroll, which is probably part of a plinth attached to a large bronze vessel. The figure may have been part of a series that ran around the rim of a large krater or bowl. The goddess' intricately worked feathery wings are outstretched in a wide arc, enhancing her swift movement. As she runs, her long tresses sweep backwards across her chin and over her left shoulder. Her left hand pulls gently at the folds of her garment while her right is fully extended. She holds an object, which has not been identified.

    The south Italian Greeks were skilled bronze workers and although very few large-scale bronze figures survive from this region, there are many small-scale figures. These were cast either as individual statuettes or as supports for mirrors or decorative elements on vessels.

    H.B. Walters, Catalogue of bronzes, Greek, R (London, 1899)

    L. Burn, The British Museum book of G-1, revised edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)

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