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Tuesday
Apr222008

Hitler's Watercolours

I'm amazed. I always knew Hitler was an artist before going into the army in World War 1 but I didn't realise he was quite a capable artist. These are watercolours he painted on the battlefield in 1916.

Hitler lived in Vienna from 1908 to 1913. Despite artistic pretensions, he twice failed to win a place at the city's Academy of Fine Arts. To make a living he painted postcards and advertisements. But no one, not even the people selling them, credits his watercolors with much artistic value. 'No Artistic Value'.

I don't know about that. I think they're quite good. What do you reckon?

231239-1511036-thumbnail.jpg231239-1510822-thumbnail.jpg231239-1510825-thumbnail.jpg231239-1510828-thumbnail.jpg231239-1510845-thumbnail.jpg231239-1510820-thumbnail.jpgThirty years later Herr Hitler was still painting - this time they were more like architectural renderings. The last one is the famous Eagle's Nest - 231239-1510849-thumbnail.jpg

There's more here at Snyders Treasures

BTW Hitler's Watercolours are for sale at $25k each through Snyders.

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Reader Comments (16)

Without stepping into any controversy about his other achievements if you look carefully you see that he draws like someone who doesn't know how to draw.

All the lines are rather childish, there are not definite style, the perspectives are all wrong. The only passable painting is the the room who looks like a "drawing study"

What else..well no shadows, the persons are drawed like a kid would draw people and most importantly the whole sceneries are rather uninteresting, if you are going to show a burning tank put it in the center of the scene.

This demonstrate that he wasn't an artist, he drawed, he even managed to put some stains on a canva. great now calling him a painter is totally overkill.

Have a good day !

April 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNoway
I pretty much disagree with everything you say. By your parameters you'd also call Van Gogh "someone who doesn't know how to draw". And you'd say the same for Picasso.

BTW - you never "put a burning tank in the center of the scene" - that's basic painting and photography composition. "no shadows"??? If its overcast or the sun is overhead there will be no shadows. To put it bluntly - you haven't a clue what you're talking about - not a clue.

I've just posted one of Hitlers street scenes from 1925 - and I find it rather charming. You, no doubt, will think it crap.
April 22, 2008 | Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe
Sorry,
but beeing kinda artist round WW1 does not save his reputation.
I can`t look into this drawings without thinking about the crimes that later came from his sick mind.

Atze Hitler and art? I recommend reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degenerate_art .

"No Artistic Value"- The people in Vienna got it right early.
April 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBin German
Well, Malcolm, I think it's you who doesn't have a clue. These paintings are all drawn in a rather childish manner, e.g. look at the crosses on the burning tank, they're supposed to be straight and symmetrical but they look as if a 5 year old drew them. Picasso actually was able to draw realistic scenes quite well as you can see on his earlier works. He just turned to abstract art later. And while he (and other artists) challenged the way paintings are supposed to be composed, you can still see that he was an able painter. Every bored housewife can draw better than Hitler, it's just Hitler's prominence who lets people think his paintings have artistic value. I think you just want to annoy some liberals by stating that Hitler was a capable artist. Or you're blind.
April 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdingdonggefuehl
Oh rubbish. Go and look at his architectural drawings if you're hung up on straight lines. And I think the naïve style of these paintings is what makes them appealing. Watercolour is extremely hard to master - you need to be bold and quick. Before cameras watercolour was used to record events - much like he's done here on the battlefield. "Every bored housewife can paint better than Hitler" is complete cock. And I couldn't give a flying fuck about "annoying liberals". I've posted another "A.Hitler" painting you can analyse to see if the lines are straight.
April 22, 2008 | Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe
I'm not "hung up on straight lines", it was just just an example for why Hitler's paintings suck. Hitler's paintings are supposed to be realistic paintings, his artistic intention (I assume) was to reproduce on the canvas what he saw, be it in war or be it in architectural surroundings. And at that he fails, more or less. But the more important thing is: being able to depict a realistic scene is not art, it's craftwork and that's why his paintings were deemed to have "no artistic value" and that's also why he had to resort to painting postcards or even frame fillers (how pathetic is that?).
The new painitng you posted is actually better than the average bored housewife could hope to achieve but still sucks. It's boring and random, I mean, how many artists before or after him painted a view of the Stephansdom? If you like his naive style go ahead, but I think he painted in a naive way not because he chose to, but because he was actually a moron.
April 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdingdonggefuehl
Ha ha ha. More bullshit from an ignorant sonofabitch. American by chance? One of the 44 functionally illiterate of that great metropolis? You assume a lot with your "Hitler's paintings are supposed to be realistic paintings, his artistic intention (I assume) was to reproduce on the canvas what he saw". Listen...a lot of exciting things were happening in the European art world at this time. It was Post-Impressionism at the turn of the century but then you had all the other movements one after the other - Surrealism, Cubism, Fauvism, Dadaism and...wait for it...in 1910 in Germany you had Expressionism. And what was Expressionism all about? "an artistic style in which the artist attempts to depict not objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in him. He accomplishes his aim through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy and through the vivid, jarring, violent, or dynamic application of formal elements." Get it, MORON?
April 22, 2008 | Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe
I don't think that calling me a moron and an ignorant sonofabitch helps anyone of us. You're an Internet Tough Guy by cahnce? And, just FYI, I'm a German, so trying to insult me as an american illiterate doesn't quite fit. However I agree with you when you state that a "lot of exciting things were happening in the European art world at this time". But maybe you should have read about what the Nazis called "Entartete Kunst" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degenerate_art). Nazis were actually opposed to art that distorted so-called objective reality. So I think it's quite a stretch to call Hitler an expressionist, his paintings are by no means "vivid, jarring, violent (they depict violence however) or dynamic", they're just unintentionally primitive, not primitivist (notice the difference?).
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdingdonggefuehl
Yes I did follow your link to Degenerate Art and very interesting it was too. And yes...sigh...of course Herr Hitler wasn't an expressionist but he would have been exposed to all these movements. And you neatly ignore the first and relevant bit of the quote - "the artist attempts to depict not objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in him".
Hitler was rejected from the Vienna Academy because, like you, they thought he couldn't draw.
April 23, 2008 | Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe
Okay, so here's what I think of the first part of the quote in correlation to Hitler:
Of course every artist is only able to depict his "subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in him" because, let's face it, there's no thing as an objective reality, it's an consensus reality at best. But that is besides the point. Painting in an expressionist (read: subjective, exaggerating) fashion depends on the artist's intention. And I don't think (and that is my whole point) that Hitler drew the way he did intentionally, or that he even "attemted to depict not objective reality", he just wasn't able to do it "right". As I stated before, Picasso actually was able to draw and most of the painters of the different avantgarde movements in the beginning of the 20th century were, too. They just chose deliberately to challenge current notions of depicting the supposed reality, whereas Hitler was just a fraud. Ask yourself: Would you or anyone else care about his paintings if they weren't made by Hitler?
And of course Hitler was exposed to all the artistic movements of the early 20th century, but that doesn't prove a thing, being exposed to something doesn't necessarily mean that you are influenced by it.
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdingdonggefuehl
"Would you or anyone else care about his paintings if they weren't made by Hitler?" Yes. But the fact they were done by Hitler makes them even more interesting.
April 23, 2008 | Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe
Okay, so keep caring about them, I think the only thing that makes these paintings remotely interesting is, that they were made by Hitler. And he did much more interesting things than that.
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdingdonggefuehl
...invaded half of Europe, exterminated 6 million jews
April 23, 2008 | Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe
...but not on his own, about 80 million Germans helped him
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdingdonggefuehl
i have oil of a hitler signed 1916 baltic seashores the colors are vivid on the sea and trees but have to admit theres not much more to it of interest a couple of huts and wouldnt call it a masterpiece by any means pam
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpam
WHO CARES WHAT ANY OF YOU THINK ? REALLY ?
May 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEVA

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