Double Portrait of the Artist's Daughters

Adolf von Hildebrand1889

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

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.

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  • Title: Double Portrait of the Artist's Daughters
  • Creator: Adolf von Hildebrand
  • Date: 1889
  • Location Created: Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: 50 cm (19 11/16 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Polychrome terracotta
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Sculpture
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 86.SC.729
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum West Pavilion, Gallery W103
  • Department: Sculpture & Decorative Arts
  • Culture: German
  • Classification: Sculpture