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Victory

1944 William Zorach Born: Eurburg, Lithuania 1889 Died: Bath, Maine 1966 French marble 42 3/8 x 15 x 12 1/8 in. (107.7 x 38.1 x 30.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Susan Morse Hilles 1971.76 Smithsonian American Art Museum
1st Floor, North Wing


Luce Center Quote

"I made another torso, in marble---it is 'Victory,' perfectly streamlined, and without adornment---in strict simplicity and clarity." The artist, in his book Art is My Life; The Autobiography of William Zorach, 1967

Luce Center Label

William Zorach created Victory to memorialize the 1944 Allied victory over German forces after D day. It was one of the artist's biggest successes, and one enthusiastic critic judged it "one of the finest sculptures ever done in this country" (Lansford, Art Digest, March 15, 1947). To suggest the early tradition of commemorating battles with statues of the goddess Victory, Zorach evoked the "simple pure loveliness" of an ancient Greek statue by making the work as simple as possible, covering the torso in the barest of skirts, and creating a smooth silhouette (Zorach, "General Survey of the Background of Modern Sculpture," Lecture I, presented at Columbia University, Summer 1939, Zorach Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution).

Keywords

Allegory - other - triumph

Figure female - nude

Figure female - torso

sculpture

stone - marble