Mestrovic drawing (chapel)

Ivan Mestrovic’s lead pencil drawing on butcher paper is the model for the pieta in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The Croatian artist drew it in the former Yugoslavia while being harassed by the Nazis, then contemplated it often while in jail. After he left Yugoslavia, he hand sculpted every element of the pieta based on this drawing out of a 20-ton block of Carrera marble in Rome. In 1955, Hesburgh hired Mestrovic, whom he considered the foremost Catholic sculptor, to come to Notre Dame. The artist later asked that his marble masterpiece reside at Notre Dame rather than the Museum of Modern Art in New York.