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Ivan Mestrovic's "Christ on the Cross" sold at Sotheby's in London
By Dr. Mate Meštrović | Published  06/12/2011 | Culture And Arts | Unrated
Ivan Meštrović is one of the greatest Croatian sculptors in history

Ivan Meštrović (1883–1962), distinguished Croatian sculptor

Ivan Meštrović's "Christ on the Cross"

Priopćenje o prodaji djela Ivana Meštrovića u Sotheby’s

Dne 17. svibnja 2011. na dražbi "Europsko kiparstvo 19. i 20. stoljeća” (Sale: L11230, 19th and 20th Century European Sculpture) u kući Sotheby’s u Londonu sa velikim je  uspjehom prodano još jedno djelo Ivana Meštrovića (1883. – 1962.). Mali drveni reljef  “Krist na križu” ( 86  X  31.5 cm ) postigao je jako visoku cijenu (46,850 GBP/funti odnosno 54,000 EU; 77,000 USD; 400, 000 kn), naročito kada se uzme u obzir da to nije kapitalno djelo umjetnika, te da je bilo dugo u privatnom vlasništvu i nije jako poznato široj javnosti.

Reljef je izrađen vjerojatno 1912. od slavonskog hrasta, na što ukazuju izvori iz arhive, koji je darovao dr. Mate Meštrović Sveučilištu Notre Dame-u Inidiani, SAD. Oko 1960. “Krist na križu” kupljen je preko Ive Ćurčina, te tako dospio u Formentor (Mallorca, Španjolska), a kasnije u London.

Godine 1912. Ivan Meštrović živio je i radio u Rimu, te proveo neko vrijeme u Drnišu i Otavicama, gdje vjerojatno je izradio taj mali reljef.

Od 116 djela ponuđenih na toj dražbi samo su 7, pri tome sva nastala još u 19. stoljeću, nadmašila cijenu Meštrovićevog djela iz 1912.

Ova uspješna prodaja još jednom potvrđuje iznimno visoko mjesto koje i danas Ivan Meštrović zauzima u svjetskoj umjetnosti i na tržištu umjetnina.

S poštovanjem, Rumjana i Mate Meštrović
Ranije prodaje djela Ivana Meštrovića u Sotheby's:

  • The Descent from the cross, 1913, drveni reljef. Prodano 11.11.2008. za 205,250 GBP
  • Mother Teaching her Child to Pray, New York, 1925. Prodano 02.06.2009. za 99,650 GBP
  • A portrait of the artist's wife, Ruza Klein, 1915.  Prodano 29.05.2008. za 90,500 GBP
  • The Little Slavan (Portrait of Slavan Vidović) Prodano  02.06.2010 za 85,250 GBP
  • Small Drawing "Pieta" 1913. Prodano 25.11.2009. za 8,750 GBP

Ivan Mestrovic: ON RELIGIOUS ART (1954), excerpt: "...The head of that suffering Church is Cardinal Stepinac, my compatriot, my dear friend, of whom I and all Croats are proud. I am sure that our feelings are shared not only by all the Catholics throughout the world but also by all men of goodwill everywhere who cherish freedom of spirit..."

Please, do not miss the following deep thoughts of Ivan Mestrovic, as if written today (taken from Zeljko Skropanic web site, see the complete text):

There are more and more people today who have come to the conviction that one of the main causes of the tragic events of the recent past, as well as those which loom on the horizon, is the fact that modern man has all but forgotten the great teachings of the Sermon on the Mount [The Bible, Mathew 5-7]. The blame for this rests not only on our contemporary despotism, but, unfortunately, on a long list of talented men of science and art who have not foreseen the corroding complications and destructive consequences of their doctrines. This atmosphere of unbelief, this tragic state of man cut off from the very axis which holds and moves everything, has had repercussions on all domains of human activity, including that of art, which in the most significant periods of civilization worked hand in hand with religion - an ennobling and spiritualizing factor in human life.

Christian civilization, in our days, finds itself locked in a mortal struggle with the forces of secularism in varying forms and degrees. Many people fail to realize that Christianity, by waging the fight for its principles, defends also the foundation of the democratic way of life; for the concept of the dignity of each man and the equality of all men stands and falls with the Christian view that man is created in the image of God. Thus the Church is in the front lines of the battle against the onslaughts on human freedom.

A moment ago, I mentioned my wood carving of the scene of the Crucifixion. The piece of wood on which I carved the Crucifixion has an interesting story which I would like to share with you. I was in Geneva, Switzerland, when I was seized by the desire to carve the Crucifixion. Every available oak had been bought by the factory that manufactured rifle buts, presumably for both warring sides. I had a hard time to acquire from the factory a few boards for relief. I was unable to get the whole piece of the trunk because they had all been sawed up. Finally, I discovered one trunk that had not been sawed off; it was withered and had stood with its roots in the soil and was not considered good for rifles because it was assumed that the wood was probably decayed. When I started to work on it, I discovered that it was solid and whole. The lumberman told me that it had been imported. I was surprised to learn that it had come from Croatia, my native country.

That same piece of wood was later returned to Croatia, transformed into the Crucifixion scene. Today it stands there, in a small Chapel, in the country where the Catholic Church is being crucified daily. The head of that suffering Church is Cardinal Stepinac, my compatriot, my dear friend, of whom I and all Croats are proud. I am sure that our feelings are shared not only by all the Catholics throughout the world but also by all men of goodwill everywhere who cherish freedom of spirit

In vain do the Godless and restless men, who are today making weapons in the hope of enslaving the world, think that the trunk of the Christian tree is withered. It will outlive and outlast the forces of evil in my native land and throughout the whole world. He who has conquered death will conquer the destruction of His teaching.


Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
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