Hildebrand, Adolf von

Hildebrand, Adolf von

Hildebrand, Adolf von (äˈdôlf fən hĭlˈdəbränt), 1847–1921, German sculptor and author. He studied in Munich and in Italy, where he spent 18 years. He is best known for his dignified public monuments, such as the equestrian statue of Bismarck in Bremen, and for his realistic portrait busts. Hildebrand defined his art theory in The Problem of Form (tr. 1907), urging that sculpture should emphasize clarity of form rather than meticulous detail.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hildebrand, Adolf von


Born Oct. 6, 1847, in Marburg, Hesse; died Jan. 18, 1921, in Munich. German sculptor and art theorist.

Hildebrand attended art school in Nürnberg (1864–66) and in Munich (1866–67). He moved to Italy in 1867 and later settled in Germany. His aesthetic theory, which developed through his association with H. von Marées and C. Fiedler, in many ways determined the major characteristics of his sculpture—an inner reticence, a slight coldness of image, plastic clarity, compactness and static quality of form, laconicism, and architectonic preciseness of composition. Examples of his works are Adam (1878, marble, Museum of Fine Arts, Leipzig) and Youth (1884, marble, National Gallery, Berlin). Hildebrand’s idealism, which absolutized in art the primary laws of interaction between form and space, was developed in German art criticism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries by H. Wölfflin and A. Riegl.


Gesammelte Schriften zur Kunst: Hrsg. von H. Bock. Cologne-Opladen, 1969.
In Russian translation:
Problema formy v izobrazitel’nom iskusstve. Moscow, 1914.


Hausenstein, W. Adolf von Hildebrand. Munich, 1947.
Faensen, H. Die bildnerische Form: Die Kunstauffassungen Konrad Fiedlers, Adolf von Hildenbrands und Hans von Marées. Berlin, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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