Moving forward in time as our gaze continues to place art in its historical context, we now confront one of the truly great moments or eras of creative activity. Greek artists, over the passage of several centuries of time, codified a vision of beauty which still resonates with us today. How the Greeks evolved such a vision in their finished works of art, especially in the Classical and Hellenistic periods, remains a tantalizing mystery. Johann Wolfgang Goethe, in his Italian Journey (1786-88), wrote the following quip regarding the mysterious Greek understanding of beauty : “What was the process by which these incomparable artists, the Greeks, evolved from the human body the circle of their god-like shapes, a perfect circle from which not one essential, incidental or transitional feature was lacking? My instinct tells me that they followed the same laws as Nature…But there is something else involved as well which I would not know how to express.” What do you think is the missing piece of expression which Goethe could sense but was not able to put into words?
Nike of Samothrace or Winged Victory
Nike of Samothrace being removed from the Louve in September 3, 1939 to ensure its safety should war break out.