Collection: Messerschmidt | Face Expressions

The Vexed Man is one of a series of portrait busts or Character Heads made by Franz Xavier Messerschmidt, an eighteen-century German sculptor active in Austria. This bust portrays a middle-aged man with a sour expression, which seems to fall somewhere between a grimace and a scowl. This bust and the series The Heads that it belongs to reflect the intellectual concerns of artists and scholars during the Enlightenment era, when a surge of interest in the sciences occurred. Studies in physiognomy were highly popular at the time.