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Gallery Meštrović

Photos and description

The gallery was founded by the Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović and officially opened in 1951. The gallery is located on the southern slopes of Marjan hill above the sea, on the former site of the Villa Meštrović.

Ivan Meštrović is the most famous Croatian sculptor of the twentieth century. He was born in Croatia, grew up in split, and studied in Vienna, where early discovered your talent. Worked Meštrović in Paris with the Grand Paris, then in Rome, and in London, has already acquired international fame. After the second world war he lived in the United States, where he died in 1962.

Meštrović Villa was built in split between 1931 and 1939 by the artist himself in a classic style. The Villa was built in stages, starting with East and ending with the Western parts of the house, and was designed to live, work and exhibitions.

Ivan Meštrović with his family lived here from the summer of 1932. In 1941, Meštrović left for Zagreb, and the family remained split for another year. In 1952, Ivan Meštrović in his will gives to his Villa in the Republic of Croatia, making possible the creation of the Gallery of Ivan Meštrović. The Museum was officially opened to the public on 9 September 1952. Since 1991, the Gallery is part of the Foundation of Ivan Meštrović, with headquarters in Zagreb.

Initially, the Gallery presents 70 sculptures, presented by the artist to represent in the future the Museum in split. Later, the collection has grown due to new acquisitions, exchange and reproduction in the bronze and new stone sculptures in plaster casts the author as well as donations from the artist himself and his family. Now the gallery has 192 sculptures (made of wood, marble and bronze) , figure 583, 4 paintings, 291 architectural plans and two furniture sets, one of which is made according to the sketches of Meštrović, and is part of the permanent exhibition in the former dining room.

In addition to the formation of Museum holdings, the Gallery collects documentation relating to the life and work of I. Meštrović. Particularly, of interest are the artist's photographs, made in Vienna. Also in the Gallery there is the family archive found in the house in 1952, where are my friends letters and personal documents of the family.