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Detailed description :Franz Xaver Messerschmidt 1736-1783

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt 1736-1783

Author(s): Guilhem  Scherf, Antonia Boström, Marie-Claude Lambotte, Maria Pötzl-Malikova

€ 40.00 tax included

For this exhibition, the Louvre brought together twenty-nine remarkable sculptures by German artist F. X. Messerschmidt. The heads and busts, selected for their quality and diversity, were on loan from major museums such as the Belvedere in Vienna and the National Museum in Munich, as well as private collections. The event followed on from the Musée du Louvre's 2005 acquisition of a character head by the artist: The Ill-Humored Man.
The exhibition showed the evolution of Messerschmidt's style and characterized his aesthetic, highly influenced by research on physiognomy conducted by Mesmer and Lavater in particular.
This collection of realistic and fascinating portraits is an enthralling illustration of the intellectual and artistic vibrancy in Europe during the Enlightenment. An utterly extraordinary production in the history of sculpture, Messerschmidt's innovative character heads broke free from baroque portraiture and created a new avenue for the portrayal of faces.
The Louvre exhibition sheds light on this enigmatic period in the oeuvre of Messerschmidt, with "grimacing heads" that depict a multitude of facial expressions such as worry, confusion and laughter. A plethora of moods brilliantly captured in alabaster and metal with a quality of workmanship that still inspires great awe and perplexity to this day.

Technical details

224 pages

Hardcover, 23.5 x 28.5 cm

200 illustrations

Related event

Catalog of the exhibition held at the Musée du Louvre from January 26 to April 25, 2011.

ISBN French978-8-89885-462-4