"No classical education is needed to appreciate the personification, nor is it hard to grasp the drama of the figure's action given its superb position--and this is so despite the absence of arms and head; indeed perhaps its maimed condition has helped make the life it retains seem more miraculous." -- Francis Haskell, Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture, 1500-1900
An iconic beacon of martial glamour, Winged Victory, the Nike of Samothrace is widely considered Hellenistic sculpture's greatest masterpiece. It was made between 200 and 190 B.C., and more than a century ago important works of sculptural art like it were reproduced in plaster to be bought, sold, and traded by museums, universities, art schools, and private collectors around the world. In 1891, high-fidelity, full-scale, nine-foot-tall plaster casts of Winged Victory could be purchased from the Louvre's own atelier for 300 francs.
The customs and commerce driving the plaster cast tradition largely died out in the early 1900s. Many significant cast collections were broken up, with some pieces lost or even deliberately destroyed.
In 1892, a plaster of Winged Victory was carefully cast by the Louvre's atelier under the direction of its master mold maker Eugene Arrondel and was purchased by the University of Basel. The Basel cast of Victory survives today at the Skulpturhalle Basel museum.
In September 2013, with the museum's permission and the financial support of Autodesk's Reality Capture division, I spent a week working in the Skulpturhalle, taking 3D surveys of my choice of casts. I took hundreds of carefully staged photos of Victory and used Autodesk's ReCap Photo photogrammetry software to process them into this high-quality 3D model.
Winged Victory is one of the world's most celebrated sculptures. It usually stands atop a stone warship's prow at the top of the Louvre's Daru staircase, where it oversees millions of visitors, but in September 2013 the Louvre removed Victory from public view while it undergoes an extensive, year-long restoration.
While the original Victory is conspicuously missing, I am happy to provide my own. This capture is to my knowledge the first ever high-quality 3D survey of Winged Victory, and I hope you enjoy direct access to this ancient, dramatic work's mystique.
You can read more about my project, Through A Scanner, Skulpturhalle, at http://ThroughAScanner.com. I will be publishing more results, including Venus de Milo and the Medusa Rondanini, among others, and offering them soon. I post occasional updates on Twitter as well: http://twitter.com/CosmoWenman
If you know anyone who would be interested in sponsoring more of this kind of work by me, please send them my way.
-- Cosmo Wenman
Please see the rest of my store for Winged Victory in different sizes, and in a variety of materials.
Let me know if you would like to order this model in a custom size, configuration, or material. (It would make a great hood ornament in brilliant stainless.)
If you have other sculptures you'd like me to 3D capture and make available, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org