Ivan Meštrović - Architects, Family and Childhood

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Ivan Meštrović's Personal Details

Ivan Meštrović was a Croatian architect and sculptor

InformationDetail
BirthdayAugust 15, 1883
Died onJanuary 15, 1962
NationalityCroatian, American
FamousArchitects, Sculptors, Miscellaneous
SpousesOlga Kesterčanek, Ruža Klein
SiblingsPetar Meštrović
Childrens Maria Meštrović, Marta Meštrović, Mate Meštrović, Tvrtko Meštrović
Universities
  • Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Birth PlaceVrpolje
Born CountryCroatia/hrvatska
GenderMale
FatherIvan Meštrović-Gabrilovic
MotherMarta Kurobasa
Sun SignLeo
Born inVrpolje
Famous asSculptor
Died at Age78

// Famous Architects

Ivan Meštrović's photo

Who is Ivan Meštrović?

Ivan Meštrović was a Croatian architect and sculptor whose work made him one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. From humble beginnings in the small village of Vrpolje, he went on to study at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Here he developed his raw ability and passion for stone cutting into a finely tuned talent. His first sculpture to gain international recognition was 1905 piece entitled ‘Well of Life’. Virtually all of his works pay homage to his Croatian upbringing. His early works were inspired by the heroes of Croatian folklore, as well as the struggles of the Croatian people against various oppressors throughout history. After the First World War, Meštrović started to draw influence from religion. He became entranced by the works of Michelangelo and the influence can be seen in his later works. Meštrović spent his later years as a citizen of the United States. He had tenures as an art professor at Syracuse University and the University of Notre Dame. Before his death Meštrović declared all of his Croatian estate to be left to the people of Croatia. This included over 400 sculptures and drawings. He will forever be remembered as one of the most important figures in Croatian history.`

// Famous Sculptors

Childhood & Early Life

Ivan Meštrović was born on August 15, 1883, in Slavonia, Austria-Hungary, which is located in modern-day Croatia. He was born to peasant farmers in the small village of Vrpolje.

He was raised in the village of Otavice where his father was the only one in the community who could read. His family was very religious and this influence showed in his sculptures.

In 1896, at the age of thirteen, he got his first apprenticeship under a marble cutter.

In 1899 a master stone cutter from Split by the name of Pavle Bilinic took notice of his talent. He took the sixteen-year-old boy under his wings as an apprentice. Bilinic’s wife was a high school teacher and under the tutelage of the husband-wife duo his skills were greatly improved. Meštrović’s study of city architecture played a great role in honing his skill.

Soon after starting this apprenticeship Meštrović was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He studied here until 1904.

Career

In 1905, he began exhibiting his work with the Vienna Sezession exhibition.

He built on this momentum in 1906 when he showcased his work at the Austrian Exhibition at Earl's Court in London.

In 1908 he moved to Paris, France. During his time in France he established a relationship with the renowned French Sculptor Auguste Rodin.

While in France he produced over 50 sculptures. Many of these works drew heavy influence from the local Croatian legends and earned him international recognition.

In 1911, he moved to Rome, where he spent four years studying ancient Greco-Roman sculptures.

After the First World War, Meštrović moved to the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. He settled down in Zagreb and was appointed director of the Art Institute of Zagreb.

In 1923, he built a mausoleum for the Račić family and a set of war monuments in Kosovo. These monuments paid homage to a battle against the Turks in 1389.

Meštrović traveled to Brooklyn in 1924 to exhibit his work. He also traveled to Chicago in 1925.

In 1927, he went to Palestine and Egypt to showcase his work. In the same year he entered a contest to design the coins for the new Irish Free State.

In 1941, he faced political persecution from the new Croatian government. He escaped further conflict by relocating to Rome. He spent his time here at the Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome working under the sponsorship of Dominik Mandic.

In 1946, he emigrated to the United States. He was offered a position at Syracuse University as an art professor.

During the 1950s he made several contributions to ‘Hrvatska revija’, a journal for Croatian emigrants. The journal would later publish his full memoirs.

In 1955, he accepted a position as a professor of fine arts at the University of Notre Dame.

Major Works

Meštrović's first major work was his ‘Well of Life’ sculpture first, exhibited in 1905. The work shows several people contorting their bodies around a well, which signifies the hardships faced at the time by his native people.

Another one of his major works was his bust of Nikola Tesla. Its significance is that it is the most well-known piece of art regarding this famous scientist.

Awards & Achievements

He was awarded the American Academy of the Arts and Letters gold medal for sculpture in 1953.

Personal Life & Legacy

Meštrović got married to his first wife, Ruza Klein, in 1904.

He married his second wife, Olga Kesterčanek, in 1922. The couple had four children together: Marta, Tvrtko, Maria, and Mate.

Two of his children died before him. His daughter Marta died in 1949 at the age of 24, and his son Tvrtko died at the age of 39 in 1961.

Meštrović died in South Bend, Indiana on January 16, 1962, at the age of 78.

Trivia

Meštrović was the first artist to have a solo exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which went on display in 1915.

He also was the first artist to have his work exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art while he was still alive.

He was good friends with the famous scientist Nikola Tesla.

// Famous Miscellaneous

Ivan Meštrović biography timelines

  • // 1389 To 1923
    In 1923, he built a mausoleum for the Račić family and a set of war monuments in Kosovo. These monuments paid homage to a battle against the Turks in 1389.
  • // 15th Aug 1883
    Ivan Meštrović was born on August 15, 1883, in Slavonia, Austria-Hungary, which is located in modern-day Croatia. He was born to peasant farmers in the small village of Vrpolje.
  • // 1896
    In 1896, at the age of thirteen, he got his first apprenticeship under a marble cutter.
  • // 1899
    In 1899 a master stone cutter from Split by the name of Pavle Bilinic took notice of his talent. He took the sixteen-year-old boy under his wings as an apprentice. Bilinic’s wife was a high school teacher and under the tutelage of the husband-wife duo his skills were greatly improved. Meštrović’s study of city architecture played a great role in honing his skill.
  • // 1904
    Soon after starting this apprenticeship Meštrović was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He studied here until 1904.
  • // 1904
    Meštrović got married to his first wife, Ruza Klein, in 1904.
  • // 1905
    In 1905, he began exhibiting his work with the Vienna Sezession exhibition.
  • // 1905
    Meštrović's first major work was his ‘Well of Life’ sculpture first, exhibited in 1905. The work shows several people contorting their bodies around a well, which signifies the hardships faced at the time by his native people.
  • // 1906
    He built on this momentum in 1906 when he showcased his work at the Austrian Exhibition at Earl's Court in London.
  • // 1908
    In 1908 he moved to Paris, France. During his time in France he established a relationship with the renowned French Sculptor Auguste Rodin.
  • // 1911
    In 1911, he moved to Rome, where he spent four years studying ancient Greco-Roman sculptures.
  • // 1915
    Meštrović was the first artist to have a solo exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which went on display in 1915.
  • // 1922
    He married his second wife, Olga Kesterčanek, in 1922. The couple had four children together: Marta, Tvrtko, Maria, and Mate.
  • // 1924 To 1925
    Meštrović traveled to Brooklyn in 1924 to exhibit his work. He also traveled to Chicago in 1925.
  • // 1927
    In 1927, he went to Palestine and Egypt to showcase his work. In the same year he entered a contest to design the coins for the new Irish Free State.
  • // 1941
    In 1941, he faced political persecution from the new Croatian government. He escaped further conflict by relocating to Rome. He spent his time here at the Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome working under the sponsorship of Dominik Mandic.
  • // 1946
    In 1946, he emigrated to the United States. He was offered a position at Syracuse University as an art professor.
  • // 1949 To 1961
    Two of his children died before him. His daughter Marta died in 1949 at the age of 24, and his son Tvrtko died at the age of 39 in 1961.
  • // 1953
    He was awarded the American Academy of the Arts and Letters gold medal for sculpture in 1953.
  • // 1955
    In 1955, he accepted a position as a professor of fine arts at the University of Notre Dame.
  • // 16th Jan 1962
    Meštrović died in South Bend, Indiana on January 16, 1962, at the age of 78.

// Famous American

Ivan Meštrović's FAQ

  • What is Ivan Meštrović birthday?

    Ivan Meštrović was born at 1883-08-15

  • When was Ivan Meštrović died?

    Ivan Meštrović was died at 1962-01-15

  • Where was Ivan Meštrović died?

    Ivan Meštrović was died in South Bend

  • Which age was Ivan Meštrović died?

    Ivan Meštrović was died at age 78

  • Where is Ivan Meštrović's birth place?

    Ivan Meštrović was born in Vrpolje

  • What is Ivan Meštrović nationalities?

    Ivan Meštrović's nationalities is Croatian,American

  • Who is Ivan Meštrović spouses?

    Ivan Meštrović's spouses is Olga Kesterčanek, Ruža Klein

  • Who is Ivan Meštrović siblings?

    Ivan Meštrović's siblings is Petar Meštrović

  • Who is Ivan Meštrović childrens?

    Ivan Meštrović's childrens is Maria Meštrović, Marta Meštrović, Mate Meštrović, Tvrtko Meštrović

  • What was Ivan Meštrović universities?

    Ivan Meštrović studied at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

  • Who is Ivan Meštrović's father?

    Ivan Meštrović's father is Ivan Meštrović-Gabrilovic

  • Who is Ivan Meštrović's mother?

    Ivan Meštrović's mother is Marta Kurobasa

  • What is Ivan Meštrović's sun sign?

    Ivan Meštrović is Leo

  • How famous is Ivan Meštrović?

    Ivan Meštrović is famouse as Sculptor