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The collection of Croatian sculpture from the 19th to the 21st century

The permanent display of the Croatian 19th-21st Century Sculpture Collection shows 243 works by 65 artists.  Most of the collection consists of original works: sculptures in durable materials (bronze, wood, Perspex, stainless steel..), a number of works originally produced in plaster of Paris,  and a smaller number of plaster copies of original works.  This is the largest and most systematically assembled collection of modern Croatian sculpture, and provides a survey of the development of Croatian sculpting ever since the middle of the 19th century.

The collection is arranged in chronological order, starting with the works of Vatroslav Donegani (1836-1899) and Ivan Rendić (1849-1932), the first trained Croatian sculptors, who took up the interrupted historical continuity from George of Dalmatia – Juran Dalmatinac (15th century).  In this interregnum foreign artists such as Anton Dominik Fernkorn (1813-1878) erected monuments on commission (such as St George Vanquishing the Dragon – a copy in the Sculpture Park of the Glyptotheque).  After this come rooms with works of Rudolf Valdec (1872-1929) and Robert Frangeš Mihanović (1872-1940), educated in well-known European centres, who brought into Croatian art the modern European styles of Symbolism, Secession and Impressionism.  Branislav Dešković (1883-1939), our best known sculptor of animal forms, is represented by figures of pointers and portraits that are characterised by an Impressionist treatment of surface.

The best-known name in Croatian sculpture, Ivan Meštrović (1883-1962), one of the founders of Art Nouveau, is represented by works from the earlier period of the Vienna Secession, as well as by some later works.

Then come the works of artists all associated with the Spring Salon that operated between the wars: Frano Cota, Ferdo Ćus, Hinko Juhn, Ivo Kerdić, Jean Ivanović, Dujam Penić, Jozo Turkalj and Mila Wood.

A separate exhibition is given to the cycle of sculptures by Vanja Radauš (1906-1975) called Panopticum Croaticum created between 1959 and 1961.  The cycle of 25 sculptures in painted plaster was created under the influence of politically-committed Expressionism and Surrealism.

The sculptures of Frano Kršinić, Ivo Lozica and Grgo Antunac, mainly female nudes, can be counted in the category of Mediterranean works with highly lyrical characteristics.

Representatives of Abstract Art in sculpture - Vojin Bakić, Ivan Kožarić, Dušan Džamonja, Aleksandar Srnec, Branko Vlahović, Šime Vulas, Raul Goldoni are represented in their anthology-piece works, which have very considerably enhanced the Collection.  Sculpture of the second half of the 20th century is shown in the works of Marija Ujević-Galetović, Ivan Sabolić, Vjekoslav Rukljač, Branko Ružić, Ivan Lesiak, Valerije Michieli, Vasko Lipovac and others, showing the very heterogeneous development of Croatian sculpture, which is typical of our times.

The display closes with works of the middle generation of contemporary artists.