Born on January 23rd, 1939 Greg and Tim Hildebrandt were twin brothers who both had considerable painting skills. Much like Mickey claims to be, they originally wanted to be Disney animators, but, failing that, decided on a professional art career strongly influenced by Disney, Norman Rockwell, and Maxfield Parrish. They both turned pro in 1959 and began painting fantasy art in oil, working on projects together.
Their styles were very similar.
This illustration for Terry Brooks’ Sword of Shannara series was a collaboration, showing how seamlessly the brothers worked together.
Their first truly big break came with the popularity in the 1970’s of their Lord of the Rings Calendars.
And then, of course, in 1977 they were asked by 20th Century Fox to rework the poster concept done by Tom Jung for the movie Star Wars. It was done on a very tight schedule with the brothers working in shifts to complete it in only 36 hours. It resulted in the well-known image that began this post.
Here follows a few more of my favorite works of the Brothers Hildebrandt.
Sadly, Tim passed away in 2006 at the age of 67. But here you see Greg still painting at age 82,