Category: Culture, Galleries

Crikvine-Kaštelet

Crikvine-Kaštelet

Not far from the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery in Split, there is Kaštelet-Crikvine, a former mansion of family Capogrosso, built in the early 16th century. 

 Originally conceived as a holiday home of a famous Split noble family, and as a place of possible refuge during the Turkish threat. The building has throughout history had many functions. Thus it was rented as tanner workshop, mastioničarima cloth workshop, and for a time was even a quarantine for decontamination.
In 1939. in rather neglected condition, the complex is bought by Ivan Mestrovic, in order to create, close to his representative palace, more intimate space designed to exhibit his works. On complex purchase, in collaboration with architect Harold Bilinić (with whom he has realized his Split palace, and many other architectural projects), Ivan Mestrovic began renovating of the complex, especially its western part. He interpolates, into existing object, the church of St. Cross, i.e. restructure western yard, placing within the patrol porch with Doric columns version. At start this Mestrovic's ambient was thought as only five wooden reliefs of future cycle of Christological inspiration and a large wooden crucifix. Sacral New Testament theme is recognize as very important in the Ivan Mestrovic opus. It is encountered, already in his boyish artistic endeavors. However, after leaving for academic schooling in Vienna, it completely disappears. It is actualised again only in 1913., and from that moment becomes constant of all Meštrović artistic life. The entire cycle composed of 28 wooden reliefs inspired by the life of Christ, was made in time-span in little more than four decades, thus making a unique phenomenon in the entire corpus of 20th century art. Space of the church of Sv. Cross, within which are located reliefs, is dedicated to the mass rites, on Old Slavonic language, which was the wish of the Ivan Mestrovic himself. Full Christological cycle, except for relief that were at that time stored in Split, was for the first time introduced to the public in 1950. in Hendricks Chapel, College of Fine Arts of Syracuse University. After delivery to the homeland at the end of 1953., cycle was installed in next year at St. Cross church. Although stylistically nonequable and of different visual quality works of Ivan Meštrović in this rounded part was still unikum in Croatian art history. The eastern part of Kastelet-Crikvine with older chapel of Our Lady of Good Counsel, joined by adaptation with loggia with stone inventory, is also substantially linked to sculptor space design, that constitutes an indivisible whole with the complex. The combination of the original centuries-old buildings and newer sculptor's interventions, perfectly blended into the Mediterranean landscape of the southern slopes of Marjan, make complex Kastelet-Crikvine different, more intimate part of the experience of the city of Split.

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