Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736-1783)
Bronze castings from posthumous editions around 1900/20
Artist born in Germany in 1736, he began his career with his uncle Johann Straub, the most important sculpture workshop in Bavaria;
He then moved to Vienna, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
And dice 1760 knows the success by becoming sculptor of the imperial family.
After his trip to Rome and influenced by the great Italian sculptors, he designed portraits with the particular technique:
Heads positioned in front, the neck ending in the base, without shoulders and the eyes not incised; no traces of this technique have been found in Europe and make him an extraordinary artist.
His state of health deteriorates, he no longer finds support from the Vienna Academy and recluses himself in the countryside where this series of 69 Heads of characters is born, they were all unique pieces made of pewter and some lead. - some in alabaster.
The bust that we present is the model of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, The Man Who Yawns, 1771-1781, pewter, 43 x 22 x 24 cm kept in Budapest, Szépmüvészeti Mùzeum.
They were not discovered until 10 years after his death in 1793 during an exhibition organized by his brother, misunderstood and unsuccessful, they fell into oblivion until 1835 to finally recognize the genius of this sculptor. through traveling exhibitions in europe.
The posthumous editions of the 49 original heads recorded to date are very rare, all the pieces produced during his lifetime having been acquired from 1840 by museums or major collections which still have these bronzes. Only a few fonts were made around 1900 and in the 1st part of the 20th century in very small quantities, they are very rare on the art market but also in auctions, the originals which unique piece reached historical auctions (purchase of the Louvre museum which did not own any work by the artist on January 27, 2005 in New York for the price of $ 4,800,000).
6 000 €