Concept of Gesamtkunstwerk in Ivan Meštrović’s oeuvre: at the intersection of art, politics, religion and self-reflection / Il concetto di Gesamtkunstwerk nell’opera di Ivan Meštrović: all’intersezione di arte, politica, religione e autoriflessione

Dalibor Prančević

Abstract


This study examines three architectural-sculptural projects of Ivan Meštrović which clearly demonstrate the artist’s understanding and application of Gesamtkunstwerk as a special form of artistic creation: the Temple of Vidovdan, the Church of Our Lady of Angels in Cavtat and the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer in Otavice. This text shows to which degree the Gesamtkunstwerk protocol was important for the interpretation of Meštrović’s architectural creations. It explains and interprets how Meštrović, as almost no other modernist artist in Croatia, brought closer and united – at that time largely divided – architectural and sculptural forms into an inseparable artistic complex, subsequently immersing them in the spectre of different contextual social, political, religious or self-reflexive units. The study shows how the nature of the Gesamtkunstwerk protocol changed from a building impregnated with pronounced political activism before and during World War I to a somewhat more reflexive in nature sacral-memorial spaces created after the war and during the 1920s. It is important to mention that the interpretation of the «total work of art» is abandoned as an exclusively Larpurlartist and aesthetic issue, and that different other functions are assigned in the framework of wider social, historical-political and religious contexts.

 

In questo intervento sono esaminati tre progetti architettonico-scultorei di Ivan Meštrović, nei quali è visibile la comprensione e l’applicazione della Gesamtkunstwerk, intesa come una forma particolare di partecipazione alla creazione artistica: il Tempio di Vidovdan, la Chiesa di Nostra Signora degli Angeli a Cavtat e la Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore a Otavice. Nell’articolo viene analizzato fino a che punto il protocollo della Gesamtkunstwerk sia veramente importante per l’interpretazione delle realizzazioni architettoniche di Meštrović. Inoltre, viene spiegato e dimostrato quanto Meštrović, come nessun altro artista del modernismo in Croazia, abbia riunito la progettazione architettonica e quella scultorea – fino ad allora quasi sempre scollegate – in un’unità artistica indissolubile, inserendole in seguito nello spettro di differenti e problematici contesti sociali, politici, religiosi o autoriflessivi. Nell’intervento, quindi, viene mostrato come la natura del protocollo della Gesamtkunstwerk cambi da un edificio impiegato per l’attivismo politico, prima e durante la prima guerra mondiale, fino ai luoghi sacrali e memoriali di natura più riflessiva, costruiti dopo la guerra e negli anni Venti. È importante rilevare come venga abbandonata l’interpretazione dell’«opera d’arte totale» come questione esclusivamente estetica, predeterminata dalla concezione dell’art pour l’art, e come a questa vengano aggiunte altre funzioni dell’opera nel suo più ampio contesto sociale, storico-politico e religioso.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13138/2039-2362/1679

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