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Adolf von Hildebrand


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(b Marburg, 6 Oct. 1847; d Munich, 18 Jan. 1921).

German sculptor and writer on art. He spent much of his career in Italy and is regarded as one of the main upholders in his period of the classical tradition in sculpture. His most characteristic works were nude figures—timeless and rather austere, in the high-minded tradition of Greek art—although he also made several large monuments, including a statue of the composer Johannes Brahms in Meiningen (1898). He is now, however, better known for his treatise Das Problem der Form in der bildenden Kunst (1893) than for his highly accomplished but rather bland sculpture. The book went through many editions (an English translation, The Problem of Form in Painting and Sculpture, was published in 1907) and it was influential in promoting a move against surface naturalism in sculpture.

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