Ode To Grecian Beauty : Nike of Samothrace

My dear friend Lisa, {who just lived through a UK winter} and I are always trading get-away fantasies. Hers is the Greek Isles, and after a snowy cold winter, I might have to agree. In honor of a much needed warm and exotic get-away, today’s style post is inspired by my all-time favorite sculpture. This second century BC eight foot tall marble sculpture of the Greek Goddess Nike, otherwise known as the Winged Victory of Samothrace is thought to be by Pythokritos.

Discovered in 1863 on the Greek island of Samothrace (then part of the Ottoman Empire), the statue was sent back to Paris where she was displayed prominently at the Louvre and became one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world.

The sculpture’s arms and head have never been discovered, which only add to her mystique and some feel that the loss of her head increases the sense of triumphant spirit. The relationship to the imaginary space around her as she strains to keep steady in a violent wind and balance on a ship’s prow, broke with earlier Greek and eastern sculptures and is credited with influencing later baroque and romantic art, including Michelangelo’s David two thousand years later–making her one of the greatest surviving masterpieces from the entire Greco-Roman period.

Which brings us to the present.

1. No discussion of modern day Greek beauty would be complete without a mention of of the Greek natural skin care line, Korres, which I’ve been a fan of for years. Recently I’ve been using the Lip Butter in Jasmine – it’s truly heavenly with a subtle natural tint and is deeply moisturizing buttery consistency that stays on your lips.

2. Want an instant hit of classic Greek style?  Set your table with Greek Key napkins by Hen House Linens and you’ll be ready for a bit of chic spring entertaining. I have them in Licorice, but the Greek Key Aqua is so pretty for spring.

3. So back to island dreaming – as I mentioned, my friend Lisa has been raving about My Greek Island Home for as long as I can remember. I loved her beautiful feature interview with Claire Lloyd, author of My Greek Island Home, so I had to include it in this ode to Grecian beauty.

P.S. if you haven’t checked out Lunch and Latte, make sure to swing by. I was lucky enough to sample her cooking first hand a few years ago in Luxembourg, and her eye for beauty and good taste in books, design, decor and pretty much everything…{okay she’s my friend, so I’m a bit biased}. Just trust me, Lisa’s blog is always a delightful read.

4. I love these Miss Albright Corset Laced flats–such a cute update on the classic Greek sandal {and much prefer them to the pointy toe versions seen around lately}. Are you on or off the upcoming gladiator sandal thing?

5. Ode To A Grecian Urn is the definitive poem about our temporal beauty and mortality in the face of everlasting art (symbolized by the Grecian urn). It fascinated me when I was in college, and it blows my mind that all these years later, the two most debated lines in all of Keat’s poetry are still as much of a mystery to me as they were then…

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all 

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Maybe the mystery is what it’s all about… 

what do you think?

Are you a fan of Nike of Samothrace?

  1. That is a gorgeous sculpture (I love reading these art stories on your blog). I think we need a trip to the Louvre followed by a good latte before heading to some Greek Island!

    I had forgotten about the Korres brand. Thanks for reminding me. Love the napkins as well.

    Thank you for your kind words about my blog.

    PS. The ‘who just lived through a UK winter’ part cracked me up because after all I’m an Icelander. UK winters are like Icelandic spring 😉

  2. Love this post
    I learned so much from it.
    I love reading about Greek Mythology and Greek culture, after all Greece is the cradle of Western Civilization. I love Greek Villas and their fabulous sea views and it looks so calm in there.

    That statue looks so good and its wings and stance is magnificent and truly deserves a place in the Louvre.

  3. Great post. Oh, how I would love to escape to Greece now, or any beach for that matter. I enjoyed the interview as well, just read it on her blog. Thanks for such a bevy of links. <3

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