Before the Peloponnessian War brought an end to the extraordinary development of the temples on the Acropolis, a balustrade was erected around the small Temple of Athena Nike at the entrance to the temple complex. Like the Parthenon beyond it, it was ornamented with a processional frieze. Here though, rather than citizens of Athens the participants are Nike figures - winged personifications of Victory.
H.W. Hanson in "History of Art", Thames & Hudson, 1962, comments:
Her wings - one open, the other closed - are effectively employed to help her keep her balance, so that she performs with consummate elegance of movement what is ordinarily a rather awkward act. Her figure is more strongly detached from the relief ground than ar those on the Parthenon frieze, and her garments, with their deeply cut folds, cling to the body as if they were wet."
The marble original at the Athens Museum is 106.7cm high.