Sculpted in 1874,
this Gloria Victis ("glory to the vanquished") is by French artist
Merciť designed this sculpture following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian
War. He intended to honor those French soldiers who had fallen in the conflict,
especially his friend, the artist Henri Regnault (1843-1871).
A winged female allegorical image of Fame carries to glory a dying French hero,
his broken sword a sign of defeat. Merciť's original plaster sculpture won a
medal at the 1874 Paris Salon, and it was later reproduced in bronze in various
Why is it called Fame? In Greek mythology, Pheme was the personification of fame
and renown, her favour being notability (although the flip side of her wrath was
scandalous rumors). She was a daughter either of Gaia or of Hope, was described
as "she who initiates and furthers communication," and had an altar at
Athens. A tremendous gossip, Pheme was said to have pried into the affairs of
mortals and gods, then repeated what she learned, starting off at first with
just a dull whisper, but repeating it louder each time, until everyone knew. In
art, she was usually depicted with wings and a trumpet.
In Roman mythology, Fama ("rumor") was described as having multiple
tongues, eyes, ears and feathers. She is also described as living in a home with
1000 windows so she could hear all being said in the world. Virgil wrote that
she "had her feet on the ground, and her head in the clouds, making the
small seem great and the great seem greater."
The Greek word pheme translates to English as "fame", or
"rumor" depending on its context. English words such as fame are also
born from the Latin word fama ("report"), similar to the Latin fari
So in this statue, the winged goddess Fame is carrying the defeated soldier to
high glory, and making sure the whole world knows of his sacrifice.
The quality of the casting of this cold cast bronze museum reproduction is
well-detailed and polished to a lovely shine. Blends well with authentic and
more expensive antique pieces.
(some information adapted from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia)
Winged Fame Statue is made of bronze finished resin and
stands 14 inches at the tallest wing point (35.56cm), is 8 inches wide (20.32cm)
and 6.5 inches deep (16.5cm). This soldiers broken sword is symbolic of his
defeat and can symbolize defeating anything you wish to leave behind.