Explore the world of this great German sculptor and expert portraitist, whose caustic humor and audacity won the hearts of the contemporary public.
The Bavarian-born Austrian sculptor, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt was active in Vienna and Pressburg (now Bratislava) in the late 18th century. As a court sculptor, he executed portraits of members of the imperial family as well as notable intellectuals of his time, but is most celebrated for his series of violently expressive, bizarre and fascinating "character heads", whose originality and verve still captivate viewers today.
Sculpted in metal (using alloys composed largely of tin and/or lead) and in alabaster, these heads convey the expressiveness of a master sculptor keen to depict the torments of the soul in all their extreme emotional variety.
This exhibition is organized by the Louvre and the Neue Galerie New York, Museum for German and Austrian Art.
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