Come with me as we visit the Ivan Maestrovic Gallery. My friend, Lulu was the one who suggested this tour. I wasn't familiar with his work but as we entered the grounds of the gallery it reminded me of another famous sculptor, Rodin whose sculptures are now at the Standford University in California. I found out later from our tour guide that Mestrovic admired the work of Rodin, the internationally renowned French sculptor who introduced movement and exaggerated expression into sculpture. The two artists met in Vienna, when Mestrovic was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts, and the two developed a friendship rooted in mutual respect for each other’s work. Most of these sculptures were created during Mestrovic’s early years in Vienna when his attraction to Rodin’s style was at its strongest.
The Ivan Mestrovic Gallery was built in Split between 1931 and 1939.The museum was formerly his home contains his sculptures inside and in an open air garden. I was simply mesmerized by his work and his love of Croatia.
The gardens were nicely manicured with larger than life sculptures. Greek temple front, with a wonderful symmetric garden on both sides of the grand stairs leading to the entrance. The view from the porch was spectacular.
The bust of St. John the Baptist
sculpture of Maestrovic with his wife and his son.
Although I had not heard of this great artist before visiting Croatia, I really enjoyed seeing his works. They were just amazing! Some were beautiful, some were powerful. This was an incredible “ hidden gem ” of a museum displaying the works of one of the great sculptors of the 20th century. I definitely recommend it as one of the top places to visit when you are in Split, Croatia.
Next stop Solin....