Gregory and Timothy Hildebrandt are among the best known illustrators in the world. Urshurak, a fantasy epic novel, written and illustrated by The Brothers Hildebrandt, is an original, graphically dazzling story which has been called, "a fantasy of the richest sort," by Publisher's Weekly Urshurak is appearing on best-seller lists everywhere. The Hildebrandt's painting for George Lucas' Star Wars was the biggest selling poster in the world. But, most of all, Greg and Tim are known for their marvelous paintings created for J.R.R. Tolkein's "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit". This series of forty-two masterpieces has appeared in three large wall calendars, a desk calendar, and finally in a book entitled The Art of the Brothers Hlldebrandt The calendars have become collector's items and are in demand from Japan to Jamaica. The appeal of these paintings transcends all categories. The fantastic images have the power to delight anyone with a sense of wonder.
The Tolkein paintings: showers of light, storms of darkness, dancing fires, dreaming rivers, find their roots in a myriad of sources. Certainly elements of the old masters, especially Tintoretto, Bruegel, Bosch, and even Vermeer, can be seen. But, it was the story-telling paintings of the turn of the century illustrators, Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, and Maxtield Parrish, that influenced them the most. Greg and Tim consider themselves story-tellers, first and foremost. It is no accident that their artworks have a filmic quality The discerning viewer will find traces of Walt Disney's Fantasia. Snow White and Pinocchio, coupled with splashes of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is this peculiar synthesization of interests and influences that fuel their creative fires.
The Hildebrandt's virtuoso ability to capture light and form, their classic compositions, and their sensitve isolation of a moment of action or of serenity, makes these paintings of places, things and events that never were, appear to live. Greg and Tim have developed the use of acrylic paint to new levels. Collector's, students and other artists marvel at the meticulous details. The Hildebrandts work from their own photographs of models, often creating the costumes themselves out of rags, papier mache, rolls of paper, and things no longer recognizable. Their studios are crammed with capes, helmets, shields, pointed boots, and clay models of creatures too bizarre to describe.
The odyssey of the Hildebrandt twins began in Detroit about forty-one years ago. Greg and Tim started drawing as soon as they were able to control a pencil. Greg and Tim were always inventing their own stories. When they were sixteen they made a science fiction film in their parent's barn, creating their own sets and special effects. After high school, the Brothers attended an art school in Detroit, leaving after six months when they realized they knew as much as the teachers. They landed twin jobs at the Jim Handy Company where they learned the craft of animation and filmmaking. In 1965, Greg and Tim moved to New Jersey and were commissioned to make several films for the Catholic Church. That experience took them to Europe, Africa and South America. In 1970, the Brothers decided to focus their attention on illustration. Their client list grew quickly from Holt, Reinhart and Winston, to Western Publishing, to Random House, to virtually every major paperback publisher. Their advertising and publishing illustrations were seen by millions, but it wasn't until they created the first Tolkien Calendar that their names became household words.
Today, the Brothers live with their wives and families in New Jersey where they are busy creating materials for a forthcoming motion picture version of Urshurak and are visually developing images for the sequel.