Franz Xaver Messerschmidt
(1736 - 1783)
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt was active/lived in Germany. Franz Messerschmidt is known for portrait sculpture-heads.
Biography Franz Xaver Messerschmidt
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736-83)
German-born Austrian sculptor of the late Baroque* and early Neoclassical* style, and principally a portraitist, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt is best known for the extraordinary series of grimacing character heads which he sculpted in lead and alabaster*. Known as "Characterkopfe", these works were produced as the sculptor fell into mental illness. As a result, some art historians have suggested they were not so much studies in pathognomy or physiognomy, as attempts by the artist to exorcise his private demons. Whatever the case, these heads are startlingly modern works of sculpture, and reveal Messerschmidt's exceptional talent for combining realism with classical* stylization
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