Nike, goddess of victory

Nike in Greek mythology

She was the epitome of victory, she often decorated monuments commemorating the famous victories in battles. She was portrayed as a young woman with wings and an olive branch in her hand. She is the guardian of athletes and warriors.

She belonged to the first generation of gods older than the Olympians. She is the daughter of Titan Pallas and the goddess of the Styx underground river. She was accompanied by her siblings: Zelos – competition, Kratos – strength and Bia – violence.

The Nike attribute is the wings, olive branch (or palm) and wreath on the head.

Nike in art

The figure of Nike was adopted in Christianity. An early example of adaptation is the mosaic in the Aquila Basilica (around 315), where the figure of Nike stands between the basket of bread and the chalice, flutters over them with a wreath and a palm as a sign that the Eucharistic gifts represent the salvific victory of Christ.

Nike’s most famous images are Nike from Olimpia Pajoniosa from Mende, Nike from Samothrace (at the Louvre Museum in Paris), Nike from Delos and Nike from Warsaw.

Nike appears in many literary works, for example in Zbigniew Herbert’s poem titled Nike, which hesitates, where she witnesses the battle herself. A narrative-oriented lyrical subject describes her – hesitant, unusual for deities – hesitation or express their feelings.

Photo session

The role of Nike was played by Paula Dzwonik, the wings and dress are by Ewa Jobko, makeup, hairstyle prepared Ewelina Łośko.