Ancient Greek history, Goddess Inspired jewelry Susanna Galanis, Jewelry, Nike, Uncategorized

Nike “winged goddess of victory”

 

 

NIKE –  the ancient Greek winged goddess of victory, triumph, strentgh and speed.

 

 

Nike was the winged goddess of victory, triumph, strength and speed according to the ancient Greek myths and legends.  She was depicted as the spirit or the goddess who personified victory, both in battle and peaceful competition.

According to the mythological stories, she was a very close companion of the king of gods: Zeus. When Zeus was gathering his allies at the start of the Titan War, against the older deities, he requested the infernal river Stynx, Nike’s mother, to bring all of her children for his support. Stynx, who was the daughter of Okeanos  and had four children with the giant Pallas: Nike (Victory), Zelos (Rivalry), Kratos (Strength), and Bia (Force) was summoned to bring her children to the service of the God. Nike assumed the role of the divine charioteer (a role which she is often portrayed in classical Greek art). All four children were appointed as sentinels standing beside the throne of the god.

One of the most famous artistic representations of the goddess Nike is the statute featured above called Nike of Samothrace.  It was discovered on the Greek Island of Samothrace in 1863 and is now housed in the famous Louvre Museum in Paris. This magnificent work of art was probably erected by the Rhodians about 203 BC to commemorate a sea battle.

Nike was depicted in Greek art having a variety of attributes including a wreath to crown the victors, an oinochoe and a phiale (bowl and a cup) for libations, a thymiaterion (incense burner), an altar and a lyre for celebration of victory in song. In scenes from Giantomachia (war of the Giants) she appeared driving the chariot of Zeus. In mosaic art and in coins Nike was often holding a palm branch as a symbol of victory. She was frequently portrayed  hovering with outspread wings over the victor in a competition; for her function referred to success not only in war but in athletics and all other undertakings. Indeed, Nike was eventually to be recognized as a sort of mediator between gods and men. One of her weakness was that she wanted to win at all costs.

Nike was closely identified with the goddess Athena, the goddess of wisdom, war strategy, peaceful negotiations and the divine patron of warriors.

There were several temples in the Ancient Greek world to honor the goddess such as the temple of Nike at Samothrace, at the Acropolis in  Athens and at Ephesus. Worship of the goddess Nike included processions, libations or sacrifices that were performed to elicit her favor. Petitions in a form of prayers could be presented to the priestesses officiating in the temples who could communicate these to the goddess at the sacret oracles. If the answer was received from the goddess it was presented to the petitioner by the priestess.

 

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Will be back with more gods and goddesses soon…

                                                                            xoxoS

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A post card – Nike NYC

 

HISTORY & GLAMOUR

It’s Saturday afternoon in New York City.

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Susanna Galanis – Inspired by History

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As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be writing more about my new favorite ancient Greek goddess, Nike (Victory). I am working on it… while its snowing outside. I must say, it’s a novelty. Normally, I do not like cold and darkness but, I am enjoying the snow! Who knows? I may start liking winters, and hopefully… not suffer as much. I miss the Summer already. I miss the golden sunshine. I miss the light! I miss the pool on the rooftop of my building and the gossiping with my neighbors about fashion and stuff…

Here is a post card about Nike, history and glamour – some of my favorite words!

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Nike – Greek goddess of victory in NYC

NIKE ancient Greek goddess of Victory in all her glory!

 

 

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It seems to me that the ancient Greek goddesses are all over New York City these days! Athena and Nike! I encountered them both…

First it was goddess Athena at the Metropolitan Museum’s facade, [she is eternally there, please visit] and then making a cameo appearance on the face of the most beautiful cameo I ever saw, at an estate art show, [please see my previous posts] and now its Goddess Nike [the goddess of Victory.] She is standing right at the heart of New York City. The center of the world I would say….

Her glorious and magnificent presence cannot be missed in the bold and beautiful golden gilded bronze statue at the northern half of Central Park’s Grand Army Plaza [at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street].  She is accompanying Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman – a great American military hero of the civil war, which makes me wonder? did the ancient Greek goddesses help non-ancient Greeks as well? Apparently yes! Their divine existence is not only eternal, but universal! In this larger-than-life statute goddess Nike is accompanying general Tecumseh Sherman in a courageous lead into the battle of 1864 in which the Confederacy was successfully split in two effectively ending the Civil War. Amazing work Nike! … and thank you! Your presence and help is always welcome in New York City.

This major work of art by famous sculptor Saint-Gaudens (1848-1909 USA) ranks as one of the world’s finest equestrian monuments, winning the Grand Prix at the Paris Exposition in 1900.

I am so proud of my Greek Goddesses patronizing New York!  The next time you go for a walk to Central Park, or go shopping at Bergdorf’s  stop for a moment and admire the beauty called Nike!

I will be back soon with more details about glorious goddess Nike…..

xoxoS

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Goddess Athena reappears … at a jewelry Art show

GODDESS ATHENA reappears in NYC.

 

If you have been reading my posts, I am sure you read about the ancient Greek Goddess who inspired me on designing my spring ’12 jewelry collection, the majestic Goddess Athena. It started with my recent visit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the discovery of her divine existence at the museum’s facade. Well, this experience resulted in the birthing of the AGE OF GODS – Athena Collection, which I will introduce  to all very soon.

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I was so thrilled today, to meet Goddess Athena again, and so soon after my recent encounter with her at the Met!  While visiting  an Estate Jewelry show featuring mostly magnificent “collector’s” pieces, I came across the most stunning cameo! The dealer said, ” I don’t really know if its Athena…I am debating…  it could be Artemis  or Minerva.”

“This is Athena for sure!” I replied. ” I know my Greek Goddesses! Without a doubt, this is the helmeted Goddess of war strategy wearing an olive wreath around her signature warrior helmet symbolizing peace and prosperity. And Minerva, is the Roman name of Athena [as we know, the Romans respectfully adopted the Greek culture including its Gods and Goddess.”]

What a beautiful vintage piece! I am still thinking of this magnificent treasure. I know it’s going to be mine eventually because I cannot stop thinking about it! I felt like it “spoke” to me, saying, how much it will enjoy the company of my other pieces! Beauty loves company. That is what I say!

I will be back soon with more glamour, history, gods and goddesses…and more.

                                                                               xoxoS

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SUSANNA GALANIS Modern-day Goddess – profile

 

 

COLLECTION Susanna Galanis – Inspired by History 

This post is about the woman who inspires and honors me by possessing and wearing the jewelry I create for Her: my beautiful customer, muse and modern-day goddess.  This is about the woman who allows me to have the biggest pleasure – creating wearable art in jewelry inspired by Ancient Greece. She posses my jewelry, but what else does she possess? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Susanna Galanis “customer” is like a rare diamond: Brilliant and dazzling, precious, scarce, fine and glamorous,  multi-faceted and eternal.

She is beautiful, feminine and charming, sophisticated, intelligent  and deep.

She knows who she is, has a defined purpose and a clear vision.

She is strong and confident, yet, modest and demure.

She is artistic, cultural and worldly.

She was either tought to have high self-esteem, or, she is intelligent enough to have figure this out herself.

She is a “winner.”

She makes an “entrance” and she gets noticed – with no effort! She  lights up the room.

She is fulfilled and generous, genuine, spiritual and happy, and, she is happy to give back.

She is adored and treasured by both men and women being blessed with a magnetic personality and tons of charisma.

She is a “mature 20-something or a “young” 60, 70, or 80-something. She is timeless – like a Greek Goddess! She is memorable and she is, or, she becomes a legend. SHE MAKES HISTORY!

She is fun, has no “attitude,”  she is kind and compassionate – she has a certain “air of divinity.”

She is capable of achieving great success. She understands the meaning and the value of great achievement and its relation to her “purpose” in life and in her connection to the Creator.

She is an icon and a muse. She can relate easily to [my muses as well] Athena, Aphrodite, Nike, Olympias, Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Liz Taylor, Melina Mercuri, Grace Kelly, Beyonce,  Angelina Jolie, latest sirens Blake Lively, and Anna Dello Russo.

She has a superb taste and seeks only the best – because she is worth it!

She LOVES one-of-a-kind designs and she possesses an “expert eye” for craftmanship, quality, rarity and history.

She has a “love affair” with fashion, especially jewelry.

She collects.

My ring [ a 33.19 Karat Asscher-cut white diamond, a gift from  Richard Burton] gives me the strongest feeling of beauty.” 

                                                                          Liz Taylor

We all can relate to the above statement!

I am very much looking forward to the Spring’ 12 Collection: AGE OF GODS – Athena which I will introduce very soon.

With much love and gratitude,                                                                Susanna Galanis

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A Bhutan royal wedding and coronation

BHUTAN ROYAL WEDDING a modern-day fairy tale.

 

 

 

I told you that I was fascinated with kings and queens, castles and palaces, fortresses, royal ceremonies, coronations…etc. They are very rare in our modern times, but, they still exist.

On Thursday, Justsun Pema, a 21-year-old student became a Queen of Bhutan in an elaborate and festive Buddist marriage ceremony wearing a traditional wedding dress!

In a 17th century fortress, a lavish coronation took place where her groom King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck came down from his throne [how romantic] to meet her, wearing as part of his elaborate traditional wedding attire a distinctive royal yellow sash, and the red Raven Crown which symbolizes his role as the people’s protector.

His bride’s delicate and exotic beauty and her modest demeanour mark her out as the new crown jewel of this tiny Asian country nested between India and China.

After her arrival at the Palace of Great Happiness, and before the wedding, the would-be-Queen lit a golden lamp and offered prayers. During the ceremony prayers for the accumulation of spiritual and wordly virtues for the royal couple were chanted by the Buddist monks.

Best Wishes!!!

Colorful, festive images of the wedding ceremony below.

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Ancient Greek goddess Athena – part II

Age of Gods – Athen

As I mentioned on my previous post, goddess Athena, was the patron divinity of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, arts, crafts, justice and skill.

Athena was also a shrewd companion and patron of heroes. She is the goddess of heroic endeavour.  The metal work of weapons also fell under her patronage. She led battles as the disciplined, strategic side of war. Although she was the goddess of war strategy, she disliked fighting without a purpose and prefered to use wisdom to settle predicaments. She only  encouraged  fighting for a reasonable cause, or to resolve conflict.         

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Goddess – Inspired Jewelry

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Next to God Zeus, the king of  ancient Greek Gods,   Athena was the second most important goddess in Ancient Greece. She was Zeus’s favorite daughter and she was the only one that he actually birthed himself – according to the myths. It is said that her mother was Metis,  the Titan goddess of wisdom and the original wife of Zeus.

Here is Athena’s interesting birth story: Zeus came to power by overthrowing his father Chronus. Cronuses’s mother, the great earth goddess Gaia, foretold a prophesy in which one of Cronuses’s children will eventually overthrow him and take control of both gods and men alike. Cronus decided that the solution to this problem was to devour each and every one of his children after they were born. Eventually, his wife, Rhea, couldn’t take it anymore and gave him a stone wrapped in a baby blanket, which he promptly swallowed – thus saving her last son, Zeus, from this terrible fate.

Eventually Zeus fulfilled the prophesy by overthrowing his father. He became king of gods and men and the days of the Titans rule were gone. Gaia had another prophesy once Zeus became an adult – she foretold that his wife, Metis, would give birth to a son who would overthrow Zeus the way he overthrew his father. Knowing this, Zeus devoured Metis while she was pregnant. His plan worked that he never had a son by Metis, but what Zeus didn’t realize was that his daughter by Metis [ the baby was a girl] was more strong-willed than he imagined.

After a bout of terrible headaches Zeus begged the blacksmith God Hephestus to split his head open to relieve the pressure. Out popped the goddess Athena, fully dressed in armor and ready to do battle – according to the myths and legends. Her father was the most powerful and her mother the wisest among the gods, so Athena was the combination o the two – power and wisdom harmoniously blended.

In contradiction with her brother Ares, the god of war, chaotic battle, blood lust, ferocity, courage and violence, Athena was the goddess of strategy, organized fighting, advanced weaponry and skilled manipulation on the battlefield. If Ares was offence, Athena was defence. If Ares represented pure force Athena represented controlled strength. It was her wisdom and strategic planning that often turned the side of the battle to the victor. Athena is usually shown with the Goddess Nike (Victory) at her side.

Images above and below. Giagantomachia (Battle of the Giants) marble relief sculpture frieze from the Great Altar of Zeus at Pergamont. 

Athena battles Alkyoneus  in the War of the Giants. The giant is winged with the serpentine legs. His mother Gaia, top image, rises up from the earth [Chronus had more children after Zeus split him open in his attempt to overthrow him, the rest of the children spilled out from his body] besides him. Athena is attended by the winged  goddess Nike. Hellenistic style200 BC.

Athena is mostly depicted armed holding an Argolic shield [featuring  the head of gorgon Medusa at its center] and a spear.  She is crowned with a crested golden helmet usually pushed back to reveal her elegant beauty. Her helmet is usually ornamented in the most beautiful manner with griffins, heads of rams, horses and sphinxes.  Her garment is usually the Spartan tunic without sleeves, and over it, she is wearing a snake-trimmed Aigis cloak wrapped around her breast and arm -adorned with the monstrous head of gorgon Medusa. Her general expression is of thoughtfulness and earnestness. Her whole figure is majestic, strong and slender and usually she is holding some of her favorite objects such as an olive tree branch [symbol of peace and prosperity] and an owl [symbol of clarity, vision and wisdom].

It is important to note that Athena was known as well for her role as a judge, diplomat and mediator. Her decisions were renown for their fairness and compassion. She was frequently called upon to settle disputes between gods and various mortals. The goddess of wisdom was known for her superb logic and intellect. Her decisions were usually  well-considered, highly ethical, and seldom motivated by self-interest.

More than any other of the ancient Greek gods and goddesses, Athena, remains an icon, a timeless symbol of civilization, useful knowledge, noble reasoning, logic and wisdom. She is such an inspiration to me as an artist and in creating  my new  Spring ’12 jewelry collection: Age of gods – Athena.

Coming soon Age of Gods ATHENA collection – Spring’12 by Susanna Galanis

xoxoS

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