Ivan Meštrović’s Psyche (1927, marble) is a response to Auguste Rodin’s Meditation or Inner Voice (1896, plaster). Rodin’s Meditation is one of the very particular works, a sculpture of a woman which appears unfinished, speculated by art historians to be at the border of abstraction announcing 20th century. Originated from one of the figures from timpanum of The Gates of Hell inspired by Michelangelo it was conceived by Rodin as a part of the memorial dedicated to Victor Hugo, the sculpture evolved in its own right, gradually developed through a sculptural process. For more details see: http://www.musee-rodin.fr/en/collections/sculptures/meditation-or-inner-voice.
Meštrović was a great admirer of Rodin and friend of his while in Paris. Rodin himself promised in the letter to Meštrović this plaster cast of the sculpture. After Meštrović exhibition in the Musée Rodin in 2012, the lost letter from Rodin to Meštrović was found in which Rodin promises plaster cast to Meštrović. Because of the war and the death of Auguste Rodin this never occurred until recently. For more details of Meštrović’s work see: http://www.mestrovic.hr.
While distinctly different both sculptures are without hands deeply consumed with the inner feelings separate from the outside world. Interestingly Psyche (the conscious and subconscious, life in a way, mythically represented with small butterfly wings and in love with Eros) is more defined response to forming sculpture by Rodin. Rodin, who was very fond of his Meditation that caused confused response by the public at the time, and whose outlined materiality is one of evolution, and its greatness, for me, is in its embodied temporality.