Maja Šeparović Palada
Graphic design of the exhibition and catalogue equipment:
IVAN MEŠTROVIĆ: STATUE OF BISHOP GREGORY OF NIN
Meštrović Gallery, Studio for Clay Modelling, Split
The statue of the old-Croatian bishop
Gregory of Nin (10th century) is the most famous public monument of
Split, as well as the most famous Meštrović’s public monument and the
greatest in his opus. It is 7.58 meters tall and is masterly crafted and
cast in bronze, and according to the author’s wish it was placed at the
Peristyle of Diocletian’s Palace in 1929, for which the space was
conceived as site-specific.
Within the exhibition “Ivan Meštrović: Statue of Gregory of Nin in Split”, as well as the accompanying catalogue, we talk about the emergence and development of the idea of the monument (1919 – 1927), we cite the conceptual and political context of implementation that will dominate the artistic and visual performance from the very beginning, we present the circumstances of the installation of the monument (1929), its dismantling and removal (1941) and its re-placing at a different location (1954), we assume the reasons why Ivan Meštrović decided to give up the first variant of the monument whose bronze casts are in the public spaces of Varaždin and Nin.
In the exhibition catalogue we synthesize the present knowledge and bring new knowledge. Through the used literature, archive materials, sketches and studies, as well as drawings and architectural drawings for the monument as well as photographic materials, this paper provides a comprehensive overview of the topic – primarily from the optics of the time in which the monument was created, and through the standpoint of Ivan Meštrović. Likewise, we provide data on the relationship between Meštrović and his contemporaries who were engaged around the statue of Gregory of Nin (dr. Ivo Tartaglia, Don Frane Bulic, dr. Ljubo Karaman and others).
Within the exhibition “Ivan Meštrović: Statue of Gregory of Nin in Split”, five studies of the first and second version of the monument, in bronze and in plaster, are presented. The referential architectural and other drawings are presented as reproductions. The exhibits are from the collection of Meštrović Atelier in Zagreb and the Meštrović Gallery in Split, the Drniš City Museum, Ilok Town Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Split. Most of the museum material has so far not been presented to the public.
The photographs used are in the City Museum of Split, the Conservation Department in Split, the Glyptotheque and the Archives of Fine Arts of HAZU in Zagreb, the Meštrović Gallery and Meštrović Atelier, and archival materials are stored at the University Library in Split, the Conservation Department in Split, Notre Dame University in the USA, the Meštrović Gallery and Meštrović Atelier, as well as in the State Archives and the “Karlo Grenc” Foundation in Split.
During the exhibition, a screening of the film The Revealing of the Statue of Gregory of Nin by Radovan Ivančević (Filmoteka 16, Zagreb, 1976) takes place.