Ivan Meštrovic

The Descent from the Cross

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Not on display

Ivan Meštrovic 1883–1962
Object: 1003 × 1622 mm
Presented by the Ivan Meštrovic Purchase Fund 1919

Catalogue entry

Ivan Meštrović 1883-1962
N03460 The Deposition from the Cross 1917
Not inscribed
Wood low-relief, 39 ½ x 63 7/8 x 2 ¼ (100.5 x 162.5 x 5.7)
Presented by the Ivan Meštrović Purchase Fund 1919
Prov: Ivan Meštrović Purchase Fund (purchased from the artist)
Exh: Serbo-Croatian Artists. Meštrović-Rački-Rosandić, Grafton Gallery, London, December 1917 (30) as 'The Descent from the Cross'; RSA, Edinburgh, April-August 1918 (4); 57th Exhibition, Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, September-December 1918 (8); Artistes Yougoslaves, Petit Palais, Paris, April-May 1919 (25, repr.) as 'Mise au Tombeau'; on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, December 1919-November 1920; Jugoslav Sculpture and Painting, Tate Gallery, April-May 1930 (61); Jugoslav Paintings and Sculpture, Manchester City Art Gallery, May-June 1931 (32); Yugoslav Exhibition, RA, London, January-February 1944 (59); RSA, Edinburgh, April-September 1962 (46)
Lit: Connoisseur, L, 1918, p.233, repr. p.239; Sir John Lavery, M. Ćurčin and others, Ivan Meštrović: A Monograph (London 1919), No. 233, pp.51, 65, repr. pl.68 as 'Deposition from the Cross'; I. Meštrović and Ernest H.R. Collings, Meštrović (Zagreb 1933), p.12, repr. pl.85 as 'The Entombment'; Harry H. Hilberry and Norman L. Rice, The Sculpture of Ivan Meštrović (New York 1948), pp.16-17, repr. pl.89
This relief belongs to a series of wood carvings of religious themes made at Geneva and Cannes during a dark period of the First World War, in 1916-17. The artist wrote in February 1954 that it was executed at Geneva, but in the monograph of 1919 by Sir John Lavery and others it is said to have been made at Cannes. It has also been known as 'The Descent from the Cross' and 'The Entombment'.
It was bought from the artist in 1919 for £550 by the committee of the Meštrović Purchase Fund organised by Ernest H.R. Collings. All the Fund's records, including a complete list of the subscribers, are now in the Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists,, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.512, reproduced p.512

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