30 May, 2015
In Mestrovic Gallery
Starting May until September Split’s villa Mestrovic seals the bond of respectful friendship under exhibition Rodin’s ‘Meditation’
The artistic hues and touches Ivan Mestrovic has left to the cultural heritage of his country are beyond any comparison. A versatile artist, a genuine renaissance being with a striking and powerful talent in the field of architecture, sculpture, painting including literary works. Public monuments stretching along Croatian cities from south to the north of the country witness of his grand architecture and skills of a master sculptor. His modest origins starting from his birth place in Slavonian Vrpolje in 1883 and childhood in Otavice, a small village in Dalmatian inland, did not prevent his talent and skills to reach its fullest potentials and thus launch Ivan Mestrovic into international majestic virtuoso. The powerful impression with his creation remains everlasting presenting inexhaustible source of new perception this time confirmed by the exhibition Rodin’s ‘Meditation’, which will be held in Mestrovic Gallery in Split as of 08 May through 20 September. Following the trail of his earliest inspiration by the great sculptor Auguste Rodin, he had encountered at Vienna Art Academy, the Museums of Ivan Mestrovic started an interesting cooperation with Paris Musée Rodin. In 2012 Croatian and French curators threw exhibition ‘Ivan Meštrović visiting Rodin: Croatian expression’ as a part of festival ‘Croatie, la voici’.
The detailed catalogue accompanying the exhibition emphasized the correspondence between the two artists, a significant supplement to previous information on the letters, their content and the relationship between the two artists. The Paris exhibition resulted in offering Ivan Mestrovic Museums to buy off the long lost Rodin’s letter addressed to Meštrović, thus revealing answers to several questions. The found letter, dated between 1913 and 1914, witnesses of a friendship between Rodin and Mestrovic and Rodin’s great respect towards Mestrovic. As a token of his admiration and esteem he intended to give as a gift to his younger colleague his sculpture Meditation or the Inner voice, and yet Mestrovic expressed his respect and willingness to receive such precious gift. WW1 and Rodin’s death in 1917 interrupted his intention, nevertheless Mestrovic’s vivid memory and impression of it stayed captured in his soul and more than a decade later were released. He created marble Psyche in 1927. This exhibition fulfils Mestrovic’s wish and Rodin’s intention to send his Meditation to his friend’s home. Today, following more than a hundred years old promise, when two sculptures stand next to each other we testify of a great moment of friendship and strong feelings and impressions transformed into stone and bronze, yet above all of eternity as an essential feature of all grand art.