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Portrait head - Sir Eric Maclagan

Sir Eric Maclagan

  • Object:

    Portrait head

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1919 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Meštrović, Ivan, born 1883 - died 1962 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast plaster with shellac of the lead original

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This Head is a cast of a lead original (A.33:1-2005). It is thought to have been made at around the same time as the original in 1919. Ivan Mestrovic was one of the leading Croatian artists of the twentieth century. The subject of the portrait, Sir Eric Maclagan, was Keeper of Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum, rising to become Director in 1924. Mestrovic had two long stays in England, and the portrait was probably made on his second visit in 1919 when he made a number of busts and figures of friends and celebrated contemporaries. Mestrovic and Maclagan had become close friends in 1915 when the latter organised an exhibition of Mestrovic's sculpture at the Museum. The lead version of the Head was owned personally by Maclagan (until its gift to the Museum in 2005), and the plaster cast of it seems to have been made to be kept at the Museum.

Physical description

Head of a man, clean-shaven with side-parted hair and prominent front teeth. High collar at base and bow tie.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca. 1919 (made)


Meštrović, Ivan, born 1883 - died 1962 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Cast plaster with shellac of the lead original


Height: 44 cm, Depth: 26 cm, Width: 18 cm

Object history note

This object is one of two identical plaster casts which were held in the Sculpture section for many years as unregistered objects. The present cast was formerly identified as Lost 218, and the 2nd as Lost 221. Lost 218 was formally accessioned on the occasion of the gift to the Museum of A.33:1-2005, the lead original by Mestrovic of which both plasters are casts. Lost 221 was given to the donors of the lead Head as a memento of the original.

Descriptive line

Head, dark varnished plaster, 'Sir Eric Maclagan', made by Ivan Mestrovic, Great Britain, ca. 1919

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Clegg, Elisabeth, 'Mestrovic, England and the Great War', in: The Burlington Magazine, Vol. CXLIV, No. 1197, Dec., p. 202, p. 740 ff.


Plaster; Shellac




Portraits; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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