Franz Xaver Messerschmidt was an 18th century Viennese sculptor. For the first part of his career he was a well-regarded court artist with royal commissions, on the path to procuring the sculpture chair at the Royal Academy of the Arts. By the end of his life he was a paranoid eccentric in Pressburg obsessed with completing his “Köpf-Stückhe”, a painstakingly created set of heads with expressions unlike any seen in the world at that time.
Messerschmidt’s work has influenced generations of artists From Egon Schiele to Tony Cragg. And had he been born just a few decades later—plucked from the waning years of the ornate Baroque period and dropped into the frenzied explosion of ideas in the Enlightenment—he might have had a very different life and legacy. This series of drawings and set of three original prose pieces are based on what little we know about the working methods, theories and influences of this interesting and powerful artist.
This story has been temporarily removed from this page because it can be found in my book, SWEEPING UP AFTER THE PARTY IS OVER.
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