Sunday, October 24, 2010

Inspired By... Strength and Beauty

Ever since my first visit to the Louvre 15 years ago, I've been fascinated by the Winged Victory of Samothrace, or the "Nike" -- an original Greek statue probably destroyed by an earthquake, found in pieces in 1863 on the island of Samothrace, in the northeast Aegean.
 At the Louvre, Girls' Paris Trip November 2009 (photo by Heidi Diaz)

Every time I'm in Paris, I have to visit her.

Paris Honeymoon 2007

She's been appearing in my artwork for years, starting with a painting trip to Paris in 1999. We had special permission to sketch in the Louvre, so I spent the afternoon trying to capture her strength and beauty. 

I know that the Venus de Milo is supposed to represent the perfect, the classical, the eternal quest for beauty. But to me, there is something about Winged Victory that speaks more loudly and resonates with my idea of what makes someone truly beautiful. She's been a favorite image when I want to recognize the women in my life who I love, and reflect back the strength, grace and beauty I see in them.

Birthday Card for Christina 2010

Birthday Card for Liane 2006

Maybe its because of her role in the 1957 film Funny Face along side Audrey Hepburn, another one of my reference points for true beauty.

Or maybe its just that she's endured for centuries and is as stunning today as when she was created to thank the gods for a naval victory in 190 BC. Even though she has crumbled, and is only pieces of her original form, her beauty endures.



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