Hildebrand Wittelsbacher Font

Hildebrand Wittelsbacher Font
Hildebrand Wittelsbacher Font

This fountain located in the German city of Munich is a magnificent example of the type of sculptural work done by the German artist Adolf von Hildebrand(1847 – 1921), the most famous of the German sculptors of the neoclassical style.

Hildebrand considered that sculpture had started from drawing, from where it became relief. For this reason, one of the great attributes of sculptural art such as its three dimensions, in the case of Hildebrand is greatly reduced, since its work process is based on the two dimensions of the drawing, and therefore although he is a reference in his country of the most academic art, the truth is that he cannot be considered one of the great sculptors in history, and even certain critics and historians call him a rather mediocre artist.

Hildebrand's Wittelbascher Fountain

However, it is interesting to study his works, both monumental groups such as this Wittelsbacher Fountain or commemorative monuments such as the equestrian figure of Bismarck in the German city of Bremen, to learn more about the historical and aesthetic evolution of sculpture.

In the case of the Munich fountain, he began it in 1891, and possibly the most interesting thing is to appreciate how he has taken its location into account, and the integration of the work with that background of vegetation. Going back to what was said above, he poses it as a painting, with thatlandscape background and a predominant central axis. Although it must be taken into account that the viewer can almost surround it and therefore can have multiple points of view of the source.

For this reason, the artist played with several planes and for this he created different water receiving cups, that is, there are different jets and he also forms several groups of sculpture, all of them combined in a great harmony.

The Wittelsbacher Fountain becomes for Hildebrand a practical demonstration of the aesthetic theories he put forward in his bookThe Problem of Form. This publication is a treatise on the art of sculpture, in which the first thing he distinguishes is between contemplation from afar or close up. And he considers that the first is the true way of seeing art, since that way you have an overall vision. In fact, the most attractive thing about this fountain is to contemplate it in its entirety.

Another of his most representative concepts is thatHildebranddistinguishes between the real form and the perceptual form. The first is the one that has in itself the independent source of changing conditions. And the second, depends on certain variables such as daylight, the appearance of the environment or the various points of view, and believes that this is the true field of work of an artist, studying and capturing these various aspects of the work. However, he does not manage to work that in its fullness, and it is that his creation process is excessively denoted, based on the sequence of planes towards the bottom, as a relief, and not as a groupsculptural with infinite perspectives and with the possibility of contemplating it from multiple distances.

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