Talk:Ivan Meštrović

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I tried running this through an online Serbian to English translation service, but received little of use. That could be because this is NOT in Serbian? Anyone want/able to translate this posting? Carptrash 16:08, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Yes,it`s pure Serbian.I said that Mestrovic is,probably,the greatest artist from former Yugoslavia(Balkan).Of course,thats my opinion.I asked for help.I have one portrait of Mestrovic,not signed,oil on canvas,and I was asked for someone to help me.I want to know,who is a painter.I supose that painting is from 20-30ies of XX CENTURY.I could send a digital photo if someone could help me.This is not my language,and sorry if I made a mistakes.

Your English is fine - far better than my Serbian. Send me a picture of the painting and I'll see what I can do. Meanwhile, if you sign your postings I can write to you. Are you aware of Malvina Hoffman's wonderful portraits of IM? She did at least two of them, but i can not post them here because of copyright issues. if you send me an email address I will send them to you. Carptrash 06:12, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC) I send to you by mail,and answer me something,when you notiffy.

I just removed this[edit]

from the list of works because it is the same piece as The Bowman and the Speaman. Which is a better title for the pieces. Only the version in the artilce is in blue. - Carptrash 04:34, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Hello to any an all who are contributing to this page. Was there a model for the Bowman and the Spearman. My family believes it was my great great grandfather and have a portrait to prove it. Karanani (talk)

I'd be very interested in seeing your family's model. It ewas pretty typical of sculptors to work out disign probllems in smaller versions of the work. Often it would begin with a maquette, perhaps a foot or so tall, then get worked on in successivly larger versions. Let's talk. Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 17:54, 17 April 2009 (UTC)


Meštrović was ethnical Croat who sympathized Pan-Slavic movements of the period. He was "Yugoslav" in no other sense, as he despised commie Yugoslavia and it was only there that the nationality of "Yugoslavs" was fabricated. Today in English when you say Yugoslav, you mean "of or pertaining to SFRJ". Your "references" as silly. Get real. This one is a Wikipedia fork. This one actually mentions: The internationally renowned Croatian sculptor... Oxford Art Online links to some login page. It's obvious you've been cherry-picking Google search results for "ivan mestrovic" + "Yugoslav". Stop pushing nationalist PoV or else you'll be reported to administrators. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 23:09, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually, my mistake over the Oxford Art Online articles. I found over an online academic journal, but it seems that only those who have a login can access it. I will try to find a public link to it. As for the term "Yugoslav," I have never heard that it can only designate people who lived in the SFRJ like you say. Looking back at it, the idea of Yugoslavia in the sense of a unified South Slavic state started in the early 1800s, and over the time many people have considered themselves Yugoslavs whether they be of Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim faith or even Atheists. Tying the idea of Yugoslavia and Yugoslav to Socialism is completely ridiculous and unfounded, and yet you are doing it so strongly here. Paperoverman (talk) 23:17, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes but today the word Yugoslav is primarily (in 99% of cases) used to denote SFRJ. Just as American is used to denote USA, even tho the "real" America is a bit more than USA. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 23:25, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Who says that "Yugoslav is primarily (in 99% of cases) used to denote SFRJ"? I've never heard anyone with a bit of knowledge in the history of the Balkans make such a claim. Paperoverman (talk) 23:29, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Try common sense and b.g.c. search. We cannot pretend dumb and use some obsolete 19th century sense of Yugoslavia... I mean, it would be as if I was claiming that Ljudevit Gaj was "Illyrian" by nationality. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 23:33, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Once again, I believe you have not only missed the point, but keep changing ships. Now you are saying that Yugoslavia is a 19th idea and can't be applied to our time. I'm guessing that by this logic, we could also say that Goethe isn't really German, because he was born in the Holy Roman Empire and not in Germany. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Paperoverman (talkcontribs) 23:40, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Yugoslavia as a "nation" did not exist in the 19th century, so you cannot claim Meštrović is a Yugoslav by nationality, only by some vague political sympathy. Germans as a nation existed long before Goethe. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 23:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
How did Germans exist as a nation? Surely, you don't mean nation in the sense of state, like it is usually meant in English. And you keep contradicting yourself over and over. The fact of the matter is that the South Slavic "peoples" known today as Croats,Serbs and Bosniaks are ultimately the same people divided by religion, nothing more. But have it your way with this unclear logic. I'm out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Paperoverman (talkcontribs) 23:54, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

To Ivan on his first edit on this section: there is no such thing as a "fabricated" nationality, unless they all are. If a man cannot choose something different from his parents' identity, the world would be one and the same race - unless, you argue that different "non-fabricated (ie. real)" ethnic groups do not share a common origin. It makes no difference how late people started to identify by a certain demonym, nor the impetus for doing so. Censa identify who delcared themselves a certain ethnicity, not who really is this race. Ethnicities are all imaginary concepts, and they don't even have one true history between them; the manner in which ethnicities have formed a part of an individual's identity has changed over time, as indeed have the names by which a population has identified - and whether or not all its members have maintained the same demonym - all within one single generation. Races came, races went. Some assimilated more influential nations with whom they integrated; some fragmented into minor communities (either from an onslaught/major violent shake, or through nature itself), and whilst some minorities remained affiliated by maintaining related languages, others became dissimilated yet their name remained as happens when the dissimilating nation adopts the demonym of the assimilating group; others regrouped after millennia of absence - nobody can put question marks over these people's decisions to identify as such and nobody can accuse an organisation/government of "fabricating" an ethnicity. Either people identify by that ethnicity, or they don't. After all, with no grounds on which to call oneself by a certain name then no suggestion would have been made in the first place.
That said, my concern with the article at the moment is the nationality displaying "Croatian/American" which however you look at it, means nothing. He was born in Austria-Hungary. From a young age he worked abroad and was based in countries far from his homeland. Now I was never one in the first place to argue that Meštrović declared Yugoslav. His ethnicity was more than likely (given his time of living) Croatian. It would be pointless to argue with this unless anyone can find a source to say that he identified otherwise. His ideas about Pan-Slavic unity would not change his Croatian ethnicity if that was how he identified, after all, Pan-Slavism from its earliest roots centuries ago to this very day never implied ditching modern ethnicities; it aimed to observe the long-established identity and custom of the various groups. In addition, Meštrović's dislike for Communist Yugoslavia was something shared with many people who held Pan-Slavic sentiments. They opposed the system, not the unity. Either way, nationality most likely applies to legal status (relationship to country). If so, American is most likely but others from his homeland can only be Kingdom of Yugoslavia or Austro-Hungarian Empire. If it implies ethnicity, then Croatian is fine until someone can prove different, but America needs to be removed. Evlekis (talk) 08:05, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Affiliation with king Alexander of Yugoslavia[edit]

The article mentions nothing about artist's friendship with Yugoslav royal family. Here is a paragraph from Christopher Spalatin's, "My memories of Ivan Meštrović":

"Speaking very generally, we saw him as a staunch supporter of Yugoslav unity; we heard that during World War I, together with Frano Supilo and Ante Trumbić, he advocated the creation of a Yugoslav state following the dismemberment of the Austro-Hungarian empire. In the '20s and '30s he was known to us as an intimate friend of King Alexander Karadjordjević."

It contains little about Meštrović's work as a sculptor of the Royal family, and favorite sculptor of King Alexander of Yugoslavia Some of his famous works are made in this phase, The Victor (Pobednik) monument and huge mausoleum, The monument of the Unknown Soldier on Avala mountain near Belgrade. Pictures of them should be included in the article.

He did a lot of work for the royal family, some of which are preserved in royal palace in Belgrade. He did a bust of Prince Paul, he also made a huge statue of his friend King Alexander (9 meters toll in bronze)Image, which was built after King's assassination in his birth place, Cetinje. It was taken by Italian occupation forces during the WW2.

Also the article should mention Mestrovic's correspondence with Nikola Tesla. The letters are preserved in Belgrade Nikola Tesla museum. Also the article should mention more about his friendship with Mihailo Pupin. Mestrovic's bust of Mihailo Pupin is preserved in Columbia university, New York. It has the inscription: "To my friend Pupin from Meštrović". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:17, 16 February 2010 (UTC)


I guess it's good to clarify this explicitly - even though there are no less than three villages named Vrpolje in Zagora near Otavice where he grew up, Meštrović was indeed born in the Slavonian village of Vrpolje. --Joy [shallot] (talk) 11:43, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Tesla society[edit]

Scrosby85 (talk · contribs) seems to be somebody's revert-only account whose only argument in every discussion seems to be "this has been here for a long time, nobody objected, so it must be true". --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 21:31, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Looks like just another Croatian editor hopelessly oblivious of WP:RS. Timbouctou (talk) 21:54, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Dear Ivan Štambuk who are you to say that these two link are not good?You invited your friend Timbocotu or whatever his name is and you are following me and reverting all my work...Iput the link of SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY(one of the more known in the world) and you came and say it is not a valid link..This link from Tesla Society was here for almost 2 or 3 years don't know exactly and Timbocotu says it's not good anymore?:))) What is this?Should i report any of you 2 so that we should check if this links are valid or not?It should be mentioned that or that Mestrovic was one of the greatest sculptors of 19th and 20th century(Evene auguste rodin said that mestrovic is better then him.or you say that is also not valid and that rodin never said that)...One of that two..I'm not giving up on this.Two against one without any proof..I like my chances.Štambuk you can follow me anywhere. Scrosby85 22:02, 11 October 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scrosby85 (talkcontribs)
Do u agree then that it should be mentioned that he was one of the greates sculptor of the 19th and 20th century?This of course is true or you will also need "proof" for that?Scrosby85 22:07, 11 October 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scrosby85 (talkcontribs)
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary citations. Do you understand what that means Scrosby85? Nikola Tesla's fansite can hardly be used to support claims referring to Renaissance sculpture, as those two have nothing in common. Maybe Meštrović was the "greatest sculptor of the 19th and 20th century" - but such a statement must be attributed to some expert who explicitly said so. Do you understand that? We have rules regarding quotes and sources, and I suggest you read WP:RS very thoroughly. Thanks. Timbouctou (talk) 16:46, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Such statements must not be made in absolute terms, only as attributed. I.e., "According to X Y Meštrović is considered..". I think you understand me very well, you're just playing dumb. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 16:55, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Ivan Štambuk I put the link of Professor from Syracuse University about him...The man wrote a book about him and after i put the link from that book in there you had to make some revert and by you it was "by who"...What do u want?Who is reliable to you?I think whoever i put there you would say "by who" because you just want to revert it and playing a boss.I mean really?--Scrosby85 20:49, 13 October 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scrosby85 (talkcontribs)

Then why don't you add his name, and a citation from that book? It cannot stay this way. It's forbidden to remove citation-neeed tags without fulfilling them. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 23:19, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

That's why there is a link to that claim...Look at other articles about great sportsmen or people...It is always written for example "one of the greatest sportsmen of all time" or "one of the greatest physician of all time" and the links to that claim are right at the end of that sentences...It is not explained in the sentence alone who said it!The links are there so that people can look who said it and in what book or article or whatever...As it is said on this link Professor Laurence Schmeckebier from Syracuse University said that..There is no point saying professors name in the sentence about Mestrovic...As it is not practical..You are making an elephant out of the fly...I even reformulated the sentence because you were not satisfied and now this..--Scrosby85 02:40, 14 October 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scrosby85 (talkcontribs)

Scrosby85 02:47, 14 October 2013 (UTC)Tell me how do u think in your opinion should look this sentence...You can put name of the Professor and sentence where he says that about Mestrovic when people go to the link so they can see it at start..You made this article look rubbish i don't know why didn't you react long before?Why now?For how long are you on wikipedia and just three days ago it came to your mind that Teslasociety is not a good and valid link?Scrosby85 02:47, 14 October 2013 (UTC)Scrosby85 (talk

Adding a tag for a contentious statement is hardly "making the article look rubbish". Let me remind you that just a few days ago way more preposterous claim was in the lede, on how Meštrović is the greatest sculptor sine Renaissance. How much text you wrote here, you could've properly cited the book yourself. I don't have access to it, that PDF that you linked looks suspicious though. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 11:28, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Ivan Štambuk I don't know what to say about you..I will not be rude...of course that the link is suspicious to you.You are even smarter from Professors from Universities..I just waited to see when will you say this...I don't know what are you trying to do here...It is just a matter of time when will you remove the link..As i asked you before why didn't you remove the link about Mestrovic claimed on Teslasociety long before when it was posted(about 2 years ago)..I would like an answer to my question.Please --Scrosby85 (talk —Preceding undated comment added 19:40, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

I changed the sentence as it is written in the link..But still this sentence looks awkward to me...What is the difference if it is written "he stands among greatest sculptors" and "he stands among the great sculptors" of 20th century?First time i see that the sentence must be exactly the same as it is in the link... ––Scrosby85 20:01, 14 October 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scrosby85 (talkcontribs)

Unreliable references[edit]

Neither source given for the claim that Meštrović was "one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century" was neutral and the first made no such claim in any case. It said that the sculptor was comparable in renown to Rodin, which is different. I find it significant that Meštrović was not even mentioned in Robert Maillard's Dictionnaire de la sculpture moderne (Paris, 1960, later translated into English in 1962). That he was not being included in a reference book at that date provides grounds for scepticism. It seems that Syracuse University may be no more reliable in its claim that Meštrović was the first to have a one-man show at MOMA. No other source says so and I have therefore modified the lead in the light of this, providing more reliable references. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 16:59, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

To you it is not neutral?By American author?It is not Croatian author.So what if he is not mentioned in a book of "Robert Maillard" whoever that is?There are more important authors on sculptory themes like Louise Bourgeois.Your claims that no other author said that he had a one man show in Metrpolitan museum of art is just ridiculous.You reverted something out of consensus.And put in what YOU think is right.I do not agree with you and think that these links are more than good.Also you left the first link on where it is said that "He stands among the great sculptors of the 20th century"(Yes that is written in the book if you read carefully on page 4) but you changed the sentence. Scrosby85 (talk) 12:19, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
"He stands among the great sculptors of the 20th century" is an evaluation; evaluations should never be made in Wikipedia's voice. We must stick to verifiable facts. It would be permissible to write, "Laurence E. Schmeckebier has called him one of the great sculptors of the 20th century," provided Schmeckebier and his opinion are important enough to be included in the article. Vzeebjtf (talk) 16:28, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

Scrosby85 has a history of adding inflated and questionable claims to this article, as discussed in earlier threads. The reference quoted was insufficient because, as the lead to that article states, it was confected from a complimentary talk to a university particularly associated with Mestrovic and only published in the university's journal. That alone does not qualify as a scholarly source. WP:RS states that for exceptional claims there should be corroboration from neutral sources. If Scrosby85 persists in using Wikipedia as a medium for his pro-Croatian propaganda, then the community of committed editors should consider protecting this article from him.

I have since come across an article in Life magazine mentioning the fact that Mestrovic's Metropolitan Museum show was the first time a living artist had exhibited there. Nowadays one automatically distrusts what one reads in the press and there may have been Cold War reasons behind that decision. I have also come across a source that says his 1915 London show was due to his Pan Slavism (and was thus an Anti-Austrian gesture during World War 1). It seems that Mestrovic's use as a political football is now persisting beyond the grave in his use by Croatian partisans. In any case, such a claim had no place in the lead, which is meant to be a summary of the rest of the article, when the exhibitions in question are not mentioned there.

I repeat, in the face Scrosby85's bluster, not only does Mestrovic not figure in a standard work of sculptural reference from the 1960s (where artists like Rodin and Maillol whose style he copied do), but the Encyclopedia Britannica article on him makes no mention of his 'greatness' either. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 16:32, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

  • I must agree - Meštrović is a minor figure whose importance is way overblown by statement that he's one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century. The entry on him in the Croatian Encyclopedia (which is as nationalist over-compensating status-inflating reference work on Croatia you can find) [1] classifies Meštrović as "among prominent personalities of the world art of the first half of the 20th century, and doubtlessly among the most prominent Croatian artists whose work achieved worldwide honor" (među istaknute osobnosti svjetske umjetnosti prve polovice XX. stoljeća i nesumnjivo među najistaknutije hrvatske umjetnike čije je djelo u svoje doba doživjelo svjetska priznanja). Unless Schmeckebier's opinion on Meštrović is proven to be relevant (is he some renown artist/critic himself?), it should be removed from the article altogether. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 23:47, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

I have looked at Laurence Schmeckebier's credentials. While he wasn't notable enough, either as an art historian or sculptor in wood (Archives of American Art), to warrant a Wikipedia article himself, his career at Syracuse University was distinguished and is mentioned in books by others. The only trouble is that the only other references to Mestrovic's greatness come from Syracuse, which has the largest holding of his work. At the time that Mestrovic was offered a place on its faculty, he was regarded as "a truly international superstar" (Syracuse University: The Tolley Years p.82), an exhibition of whose work at the Reichstag Adolf Hitler had offered to open personally if he would agree to be present. Fame indeed! Later, summing up the sculptor's stay in America, Schmeckebier himself portrays him as out of touch and behind the times, “a survivor of a nobler era” in The Journal of Croatian Studies XXIV 1983. If we are to have a balanced view of the artist, that judgnment would have to be included too.

To sum up, then, between the years 1900-1940 Mestrovic's reputation had undoubtedly been high and he remains important to Croatia both as a patriot and one of the nation's highest artistic achievers. However, his work has not been lastingly influential and he therefore does not qualify as great. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 11:20, 16 February 2016 (UTC)