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Messerschmidt's Character Heads: Maddening Sculpture and the Writing of Art History

Assoc. Prof. Michael E. Yonan (University Of Missouri)



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04 October 2017
History of Art & Design Styles; Sculpture; European history; Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900; Psychological theory & schools of thought
This book examines a famous series of sculptures by the German artist Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736-1783) known as his Character Heads. These are busts of human heads, highly unconventional for their time, representing strange, often inexplicable facial expressions. Scholars have struggled to explain these works of art. Some have said that Messerschmidt was insane, while others suggested that he tried to illustrate some sort of intellectual system. Michael Yonan argues that these sculptures are simultaneously explorations of art's power and also critiques of the aesthetic limits that would be placed on that power.
By:   Assoc. Prof. Michael E. Yonan (University Of Missouri)
Imprint:   Routledge
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 254mm,  Width: 178mm, 
Weight:   658g
ISBN:   9781138213432
ISBN 10:   1138213438
Series:   Studies in Art Historiography
Pages:   194
Publication Date:   04 October 2017
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Further / Higher Education ,  A / AS level
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Michael Yonan is associate professor of art history at the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA. He is a specialist in eighteenth-century European art and material culture.

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