Take a look at this startling tin alloy bust. It is called A Hypocrite and a Slanderer. When do you think it was created? Five years ago? Ten? It certainly has the air of something very modern – almost Damian Hirst without the diamonds (as it were). Would it surprise you to learn that this magnificent head was made almost two hundred and fifty years ago?
It is the work of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt a German-Austrian sculptor who was born in 1736 and who is most famous for his fixation with and reproduction of heads. Not just any heads of course – these are busts that are twisted, the features writhing almost in an attempt to escape the face. There is more than a little irony in the fact that the mental illness which produced these contorted images of the human face look so modern. They say as much of our time as they do of Messerschmidt’s state of mind.
Image Credit Wikimedia
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Over at our sibling site, Ark In Space, we have a feature on the rather peculiar quoll.
You may not have heard of the quoll. However, do not suspect they are a creature of invention. These small marsupials are native to Australia and Papua New Guineau and – as you can see – they are extremely appealing to the eye.
This is an Eastern Quoll fawn. The tribe (that's a rank between family and genus) that the quoll belongs to also contains the much better known Tasmanian Devil.