(1900 – 1979)
Antun Augustinčić in his studio
Photo Credit: Tošo Dabac
Croatian sculptor, professor, dean, rector, and academic; Augustincic was a man who developed his unsurpassed reputation as being a top master of equestrian sculptors and public monuments.
Augustincic is one of the greatest Croatian sculptors of the 20th century. Along with Ivan Meštrović and Frano Kršinić, Augustinčić is undoubtedly the most significant Croatian sculptor of his age, and his personal artistic expression is placed between Meštrović’s monumentality and Kršinić’s lyricism. In 1918, he started studying at the College of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb, and when that turned into the Royal Academy of Arts and Crafts in 1922, he continued his studies with the famous Ivan Meštrović.
After he graduated in 1924, he went to Paris as a scholarship holder of the French government, where he studied at the Ecole des Arts decoratifs and the Academie des Beaux-Arts in the class of J. A. Injalbert. Donatello, Michelangelo, and Bourdelle were Augustinčić’s “spiritual fathers,” whose opus and revolutionary understanding of realism are visible in all of his works.
Standing Nude Boy, bronze, year unknown
In 1949, he led a master workshop in sculpture, in which numerous Croatian sculptors honed their art. Augustincic became one of the most important representatives of Croatian psychological portrait sculptures. In bronze, plaster, and Carrara marble, in full volume or high relief, he modeled women’s sensual torsos.
Female torso, bronze, 1952
Throughout his life, Augustinčić exhibited his art in numerous group and solo exhibitions in cities around the world. With his participation and achievements, he won many public contests for monuments around the world, achieving a reputation, which is included in the collective consciousness, as a master of monuments. Augustinčić was the winner of many national and international acknowledgments, and he donated most of his works to his home town of Klanjec where the Antun Augustinčić Gallery was opened in 1976.
The Peace Monument by A. Augustincic, Photo Credit: Stirner & Stirner
The “Peace Monument” sculpture was made and placed in the park of the UN building in New York back in 1954, and upon the 25th anniversary of Croatia’s entry into the United Nations, the sculpture was given a new shine in 2017.
The beautiful monument is a 18 ft high bronze sculpture of a woman who is riding a horse with an olive branch in one hand and a globe in the other; a cloak that is fluttering on her back and a horse in a stance that suggests a powerful forward movement, in other words, a symbolic leading of the nations of the world towards peace. It is placed on a 33 ft high pedestal, made from marble from the Croatian island of Brač.