Franz Xaver Messerschmidt




I was leafing through the new issue of the New York Review of Books when I came across an article featuring images of two busts that struck me. One showed a pretty cool dude, wearing what looks like a ski cap, smiling confidently. The other one showed a bald man pulling his chin in and making some face. I know very little about sculpture, but those two I thought looked pretty cool. They were great studies in portraiture. I figured I might as well read the article about the artist, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. As it turned out, what I had thought were contemporary busts had in fact been made around 1780, by an artist who might or might not have had some mental health issues. Have a look at some of the busts here (they’re on display at NYC’s Neue Galerie until early next 2011!). You can find a couple more articles about Messerschmidt here and here.