Messerschmidt and Modernity
written by Antonia Bostrom
Getty Publications | ISBN 9780892369744
Hardback – 80 pages
Member’s price: $31.46
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This is an engrossing exploration of an 18th-century sculptor's influence on artists to the present day. An astonishing group of 69 "Character Heads" by German sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736-1783) has fascinated viewers, artists, and collectors for more than two centuries. The heads, carved in alabaster or cast in lead or tin alloy, were conceived outside the norm of conventional portrait sculpture and explore the furthest limits of human expression. Lavishly illustrated, "Messerschmidt and Modernity" presents remarkable works created by and inspired by Messerschmidt, an artist both of and ahead of his time. The Character Heads situate the artist's work squarely within the 18th-century European Enlightenment, with its focus on expression and emotion. Yet their position at the apparent limits of rational art have made them compelling to successive generations of artists working in a variety of media.
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