Mĕstrović, Ivan (ēˈvän mĕshˈtrōvyĭch) [key], 1883–1962, Croatian-American sculptor, b. Vrpolje, Croatia (then in Austria-Hungary). He was a shepherd and then an apprentice to a marble cutter, and at 17 he begam attending the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. His figures and reliefs were strongly influenced by Rodin and classical Greek sculpture, and his major works are usually austere and monolithic. Many of Mĕstrović's sculptures are of biblical scenes and other religious subjects, often in wood, bronze, or marble. He also portrayed figures out of Yugoslav history and folklore, and designed a number of churches and other structures. He lived in various European cities before immigrating (1947) to the United States, where he taught at Syracuse (1947–55) and Notre Dame (1955–62) universities, and became (1954) a U.S. citizen.
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