Posted by: Valentino Radman | May 21, 2011

Meštrović at Sotheby´s auction

Ivan Meštrović’s wooden relief “Christ on the Cross” was sold for 54,000 Euros at Sotheby’s auction house in London this Tuesday.
Author’s son Mate Meštrović remarked that out of the 116 works presented at the “19th and 20th Century European Sculpture” auction, only seven other pieces fetched a higher price. It is speculated that the relief was made in 1912 from Slavonian oak most likely while Meštrović was spending some time in the Dalmatian hinterland town of Drniš and the village Otavice. The relief is carved around 1912. and can be closely compared with a number of Meštrović’s works from the period of 1911 to 1913.
Ivan Meštrović began to carve a series of religious works in this period and continued through the years of the Great War to use these biblical themes to express the great suffering and tragedy of the age. The present relief can be most
closely compared in stylistic terms to a Head of Christ, two versions of which were done in 1911 and 1913. The long flowing hair of Christ, carved in gently waving vertical lines can be seen in both sculptures. The crown of thorns is depicted as a softly interlocking chain and the stylized lines continue across the head.

Christ on the Cross is also related to the sculptor’s relief of Christ and the Woman of Samaria from 1913. The sharply angled jaw-line and the distinctive linear treatment of the ear are seen in both reliefs. Finally the flattened forms and the subtle description of the musculature can be compared to the celebrated 1913 relief of The Descent from the Cross, sold in these rooms on 11th November 2008 for £205,250.



  1. Hey I received my Mucha book a little while back thanks to your recommendation. It is fantastic. Thank you so much.
    That Mona Lisa Curse film is very interesting as well. Thanks for the blog.

    • Hi Dave, glad you liked my recommendations. Keep up a good work!

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