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“Worth the trip to Split”
Review of Galerija Mestrovic

Galerija Mestrovic
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USD 46.63*
and up
Split Walking Tour
Ranked #8 of 187 things to do in Split
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Galerija Meštrović houses the masterpieces of Ivan Meštrović carved in marble, bronze and wood. The house was built based on Meštrović's design (1931 - 1939), and was intended to be his family summer residence, working studio and exhibition space. It is surrounded by a Mediterranean garden which, with its bronze sculptures and the view of the sea and of central Dalmatian islands makes a unique example of landscape architecture.
Reviewed 20 June 2018

Occupying the villa he had built in 1939 and later deeded to the Croatian people, the permanent collection of Ivan Meštrović’s work seems exceptionally well-suited to its location. The large house of buff limestone is fronted by eight Doric columns. Beds of fragrant rosemary and lavender grow beside the steps up from the terraced lawn, where statues of heroic proportion stand, inviting views from every angle. One female figure has a Zuniga-esque ampleness to it. As I contemplated Meštrović’s work further, I was struck by its similarities to that of Mexican artists I admire, although they were largely atheist and Meštrović was clearly a man of profound, but certainly not saccharine, faith. The verandah affords a serene view of the Adriatic.
Inside, the house is simple and neoclassical, ideal for displaying Maštrović’s sculptures. Many are larger than life – not exactly monumental, but big in the way that adults appear big to children. Carved from single tree trunks (probably walnut), Adam and Eve gaze stolidly over one room. In another, the “Roman Pieta” conveys oversized suffering in white plaster. An agonized larger-than-life bronze Job cries to heaven in a style reminiscent of Rodin’s “Burghers of Calais.”
Meštrović’s work here ranges from serene and graceful to tormented, along with a couple of examples of the sort of Arte Moderne reliefs at the Raĉić Family Mausoleum in Cavtat. With decades of his work on display, I could see the development of the artist’s style and his approach. Unlike some sculptors, he sketched and planned his works carefully, rather than “letting the stone tell him what it wanted to be.”
Except for some small portraits, the sole painting in the house was Meštrović’s 1945 “Last Supper” – a shocking treatment of the subject in oil on wood. Here, the Apostles look outraged, glaring at one another in suspicion, as if Christ had just said, “One of you will betray me.” One, looking young and somewhat effeminate, clings to Jesus’s chest as if swooning. It certainly isn’t an inspiring depiction of the scene.

3  Thank Sandy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"ivan mestrovic"
in 51 reviews
"wood carvings"
in 15 reviews
"his life"
in 16 reviews
"beautiful sculptures"
in 11 reviews
"famous sculptor"
in 7 reviews
"art lovers"
in 5 reviews
"overlooking the sea"
in 10 reviews
"talented man"
in 4 reviews
"great art"
in 4 reviews
"a short taxi ride"
in 4 reviews
"summer home"
in 5 reviews
"each piece"
in 4 reviews
"summer house"
in 4 reviews
"small chapel"
in 4 reviews
"on display"
in 7 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 14 reviews
"rainy day"
in 5 reviews
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22 - 26 of 430 reviews

Reviewed 19 June 2018

This museum is well worth visiting! Even if you only had time for the garden, the sculptures are great, but make time to go inside. No one else like Mestrovič!

1  Thank bruceg826
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2018

As the gallery had nearly no other visitors, we had the luxury of being nearly alone there.
It has some original bronze and gypsum scultures along with impressive wood carvings created by Ivan Mestrovic both inside of the mansion and outside, in a lovely garden.
Mestorvic was a religious person, so expect to see a lot of works inspired by the Bible. The information flyers available in English are well-written and informative, so be advised to read them.
Beautiful sea views from the terrace on the second floor.
Ticket price: 40 kuna per person. A visit to a small Chapel some 300 meters father away is included.

1  Thank zimbabwe4ever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2018 via mobile

I actually visited this gallery after seeing it featured on Rick Steves’ overview of Croatia. How lovely it is. A very tranquil garden complete with cafe leads up to a lovely former summer residence of the artist displaying very evocative sculptures, mostly in bronze.

What I found most interesting is how the sculptures really captured uniquely Slavic expressions, and captured the emotion of the subject. Facial features are worth studying to really see how Mestrovic was a sculptor who loved his people. The large sculpture of Job on the top floor I found particularly moving.

The chapel situated a little farther down the road is also well worth a visit to view the artist’s series of relief carvings.

Wouldn’t recommend for people who aren’t art-lovers though..although the cafe in the garden is worth a visit for the views alone!

Thank Rosalie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 June 2018

These were just beautiful, evocative -- like Croatia's Rodin. And lovely grounds to walk around. We walked from our hotel - about 30 minutes.

1  Thank AB132
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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