Meštrović: Imprints of the Soul

The Religious Art of Ivan Meštrović

About Exhibition

Ivan Meštrović (1883-1962) was one of the most prominent of Croatian and world sculptors of the 20th century. In addition to his work in sculpture, he left his creative mark in architecture, drawing, painting, printmaking and literature, also standing out for his political and educational work.

The exhibition Meštrović: Imprints of the Soul is dedicated to one of the most important segments of Meštrović’s remarkable artistic oeuvre, his religious art. Starting from the earliest works of his boyhood and continuing right up to his death, religious motifs occupied a major part of his creative interest. The many renderings of Madonna and Child, of angels, crucifixes, depictions of the Life of Christ, angels and apostles make up the sum of the inventory of the religious segment of Meštrović’s art, and his reflections on iconographic themes shaped the interiors of many religious spaces.

In the exhibition we are presenting sculptures in wood, bronze, marble and plaster, paintings, drawings and lithographs – Meštrović masterpieces from the 1913 to 1953 period. As well as his works in sculpting and painting, Meštrović’s architectural productions are presented, including the churches of Our Lady of Angels in Cavtat, of the Most Holy Redeemer by Otavice, of Our Lady in Biskupija and of Holy Cross in Meštrović’s Crikvine-Kaštilac in Split.

This thematic exhibition is one in a series of projects the aim of which is to present separate sections of Meštrović’s art. This time, the artist’s work in the media of sculpture and painting and in architecture is given a comprehensive presentation. The exhibition and the extensive catalogue introduce the masterpieces from the holdings of the Ivan Meštrović Museums; there are works from the permanent displays, as well as those that, less well known and never exhibited, are kept in the museums’ stores. The exhibition set-up is enhanced with artworks from the collections of other museum and ecclesiastical institutions and those owned by the heirs of Ivan Meštrović.

My work is my prayer to God.

(Ivan Meštrović, Conversations with Michelangelo, Zagreb, 2007)