Exhibition catalog of the Musée du Louvre, Paris (Jan -April 2011).
Immersion in the world of this great German sculptor, the caustic humor, expert in the art of portraiture, his audacity seduced public contemporaries.
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt developed his art on his return from Italy in 1766, building on a rich tradition and great virtuosity technique. Unfortunate events befell him during the next decade, depriving a coveted professorship and his push to leave Austria. After a short stay in Bavaria, he settled in 1777 in Pressburg (now Bratislava), where he died in 1783.
It was in this city that develops a production sculpted heads - he had previously initiated - after his death called "character heads ". Executed in metal (an alloy made mostly with tin and/or lead) and alabaster, these heads, exclusively male and corresponding to different ages, are strictly frontal and overcome the initiation of a single bust.
The representation of the emotional experience, the fidelity with which the artist makes facial expression ( eyes open or closed by tight eyelids, mouth grimacing , tense lines ) are impressive.
Thirty of these rich works , including one acquired by the Louvre in 2005 head, this first exhibition in France Franz Xaver Messerschmidt illustrates the personality but also engineering, capable of describing many aspects of the tensions of the soul . Exhibition: PARIS 2011 Text in French.