The fascinating character heads of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt


#1

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#2

In the 18th century, and possibly even earlier, some painters used a camera obscura and simply copied the image they saw. Not to detract from their skill as painters, but it was a nice form of cribbing. Sculptors like Messerschmidt have no such advantage. And unlike painters they couldn’t cover their mistakes. That just makes these unbelievably impressive to me.


#3

Some googling suggests that a contemporary, Friedrich Nicolai, wrote about Messerschmidt’s motivations. Any chance someone in the know might be able to link an English translation of the original account? I always find it fascinating but haven’t had any luck.


#4

“Girning” aficionados? I believe the word you want is “gurning”.


#5

did you see this partial translation or are you looking for the translation of Nicolai’s complete book ?

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#6

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