Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961) was an orchestral conductor and operatic impresario. This bust was commissioned by the society hostess and patron Lady Cunard, who also commissioned one of herself. Mestrovic was a Croatian artist whose expressive sculptures, inspired by Auguste Rodin, gained an international reputation. This work was made in London during the First World War, after Mestrovic’s opposition to the Austro-Hungarian authorities forced him to flee his homeland. He later became an American citizen.
Ivan Mestrovic was born in Vrpolje, Croatia in 1883. He died in South Bend, Indiana in 1962.