Double Portrait of the Artist's Daughters

Object Details


Double Portrait of the Artist's Daughters


Adolf von Hildebrand (German, 1847 - 1921)




Germany (Place created)




Polychrome terracotta


50 cm (19 11/16 in.)

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Two young sisters share a moment of unguarded reflection and warmth. Wearing a serious expression, the older sister protectively holds her younger sister. She, in turn, leans into the older girl's encircling arms. Modeled by sculptor Adolf von Hildebrand, who made his primary reputation producing official portraits, this terracotta is an intimate and sensitive double portrait of his daughters Silvia, age four, and Bertel, age three.

Although he gave the faces the most detail, Hildebrand also included much of the torsos in the bust to express physically the sisters' affectionate relationship. Using a format derived from Florentine busts of the 1400s, he terminated their torsos with a strong horizontal line and included a low plinth on which the older girl rests her arm. Like the earlier Italian busts, this one was painted with colored pigments. Early Renaissance art was particularly influential for Hildebrand, who divided his time between working in Munich and Florence.