Adolf von Hildebrand

Adolf Ritter von Hildebrand ( * October 6, 1847 in Marburg, † January 18, 1921 in Munich) was a leading German sculptor of his time.


Hildebrand grew up in Bern, where his father Bruno Hildebrand taught economics. He studied at the royal School of Applied Arts Nuremberg and 1866-67 in the studio of Caspar von Zumbusch in Munich. Soon after, he traveled to Rome, where he met Hans von Marées and Konrad Fiedler.

Despite his success and its effect on the German-speaking countries also Hildebrand was temporarily because of its orientation to the Italian Renaissance and his extended stays in Italy ( Hildebrand bought in 1874, the former monastery of San Francesco di Paola in Florence) with hostility in the home, since his art as " was little regarded German ". His principal residence was von Hildebrand, however, not in Florence, but in Munich, there to win public sector contracts can, at the time were subject to local artists; he lived here a prestigious villa in Bogenhausen district, which was a meeting place of the Munich company soon - now known as Hildebrand house. When his most important student applies his son Theodor Georgii, who built Hildebrand destroyed in WW2 Wittelsbach fountain in Munich again. Another son, Carl Sattler was a German architect and professor.

Hildebrand died age of 74 in Munich. He is buried at the cemetery Oberföhringer.


  • Since 1891 Hildebrand was a member of the Prussian Order Pour le Merite for Arts and Science.
  • In 1898 he was made an honorary member of the Dresden Art Academy.


  • Theodor Georgii (sculptor )
  • Hermann Hahn (sculptor )
  • Georg Kemper (sculptor )


Hildebrand's sculptures and sculptures bear classicist, " Mediterranean " traits. They are characterized by a clear, minimalist and tranquil design. Hildebrand joined for a clear and perfect design of the artwork without a superfluous details. My favorite subject was his human form, which also generally seemed to him the noblest subject of art. He often tried to integrate a plastic plant in a larger wholeness, which ultimately propagated Hildebrand led to urban planning tasks. In the area of ​​Fountain and Monument Art Hildebrand was Germany's leader soon.

Hildebrand's theoretical work "The problem of form in the visual arts " (1893 ) was influenced by the ideas of his friend and promoter Konrad Fiedler. It has in particular the art of science - and especially the art historian Heinrich Wölfflin - affected. In his work, Hildebrand is based on the principle that " the work of art [ ... ] eye ​​be just " had ( Wölfflin ). For each work there is an ideal point of consideration. For the sculpture, which is usually seen from a distance, this means that they must take account of the two-dimensionality of human perception: reduction and waiver of details are - similar for the seven years older than Auguste Rodin - to Hildebrand's work maxims. The relief, which, according to Hildebrand ideally corresponds to the human faculty of intuition, is the normative dimension of plastic at all.