The Monument of Gratitude to France was installed in Kalemegdan in 1930. Its author is the famous Yugoslav sculptor Ivan Meštrović. The monument was commissioned by the Society of Friends of France and the Society of French Alumni to commemorate the friendship, help and cooperation between France and Serbia in World War I. The monumental memorial with a bronze female sculpture on a high pedestal made of white stone from Dalmatia represents France in action, sword in hand, coming to Serbia’s aid. On the sides of the pedestal are two reliefs – a composition titled ‘Warriors’, depicting the demise of French and Serbian soldiers, and a portrait of a sedentary female figure with children personifying Sorbonne – as France helped to educate Serbian youth during and after the war. The Monument of Gratitude to France belongs to a phase of Meštrović’s work that developed after World War I, when he produced numerous monumental memorials of national character, introducing novelties into the conception of public monuments in Serbia, and breaking up with the tradition of the realist-naturalist views of monumental sculpture.
Monument of Gratitude to France