Friday, November 19, 2010

Nike Adjusting Sandals

This relief sculpted during the Peloponnesian War depicted Nike, the goddess of victory, stopping to adjust her sandals. As her head is missing, one can only analyze the wealth of drapery in which she's dressed. This is also a departure from displaying nudes, perhaps indicating a shift in what subject matter was found most interesting. Though breasts are featured to indicate her womanhood, most attention is given to her dress. The phenomenal detail to the folds, creases, and twists of the fabric she wears echos the detail once given to the human body. The human form is actually difficult to discern beneath her numerous yards of cloth and the fact that she herself is stretching down to mess with her sandal shows the attention to outerwear that could have been taking place.

Also, considering the outcome of the Peloponnesian War, I wonder if this is a political commentary. Victory is being delayed, tarrying and being tripped up by her own sandals--an ominous sign for a country currently fighting a major war.

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