March 23, 2011
1 Franz Xaver Messerschmidt
2 Franz Xaver Messerschmidt
3 Franz Xaver Messerschmidt
4 Franz Xaver Messerschmidt
Despite France’s fascinating history of art, sculpture and architecture, which dates back further than 450 B.C, when the development of Celtic Art was seen in France, and the nation’s uncanny penchant for exhibiting some of the most wonderful, inspirational and influential exhibitions in the world, France has never housed an exhibition devoted to the Bavarian-born Austrian sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. Until now.
As part of a season exploring and celebrating 18th century art, until April 25, 2011, the Musee du Louvre, Paris, is hosting an exhibition devoted to the life and works of the late 18th century sculptor. The exhibition comprises of more than 30 sculptures created by Messerschmidt, which have been loaned from some of the biggest art galleries and museums in the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna, and pieces from private collections from around the world. The exhibition also includes the artist’s famous sculpture of a head, which was acquired by Louvre in 2005.
In 1755, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, the nephew of Johannes Baptist Straub, a celebrated wood sculptor active in Munich, moved to Vienna and enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts. Messerschmidt became highly talented in metal sculpting, creating a series of fascinating portraits of members of the imperial family and other major figures of the Viennese court, including Prince Josef Wenzel I of Liechtenstein.
The experimental artist’s most celebrated work is his series of bizarrely captivating ‘character heads’, which border on being violently expressive. The artist produced some of the most important sculptures of the 1900s and his unique vision and originality still thrills and fascinates the imaginations of art enthusiasts today.
For more information on the master metal sculptor’s exhibition and other exhibitions at the Musee du Louvre, visit: