No.: D 132
Date Range: 420 BC
H.1,95m (with head 2,21m)
Material: Parian marble
Collection: Olympia, Archaeological museum

  • General view. Nike of Paeonios
  • Side view. Nike of Paeonios
  • Detailed view of the eagle

Although Nike is the goddess of victory, she does not decide on the win or defeat of a battle in this case. She rather hands over the symbol for the triumph, the wreath of victory.
The thing that seems unremarkable at first sight is, that the head, neck as well as a part of a wing of a flying eagle appear next to Nike´s right foot. The bird, whose pecker does not exist anymore, turns, with its body, from the left to the right. Even though it seems that the left foot of the goddess touches the ground, she poises in the air, as her garment, which is pressed to her body and the flying eagle demonstrate. In this context, the bird represents the dividing line between air and earth.
The inscriptions on the plinth note the name of the sculptor, Paeonius of Mende. Furthermore it was discovered, that the statue and its 9m high pedestal was dedicated to the father of gods Zeus by the Messenians and Naupaktians in Olympia as a symbol of gratitude for their victory. So far it remains unclear, which battle is meant.

(V.R.)

Bibliography

W. Fuchs, Skulpturen der Griechen4 (München 1993) 203-204 Abb. 218
J. M. C. Toyanbee, Tierwelt der Antike (Mainz 1983) 228-231
G. Zahlhaas, Aus Noahs Arche. Tierbilder der Sammlung Mildenberg aus fünf Jahrtausenden Katalog zur Ausstellung Mannheim u.a. (Mainz 1996) 70

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