Friday, July 24, 2015

THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM

Here is some artwork that I'd like to share. I'll write more about it at the end of this post.
















This is the artistic calm before the universal storm that the artist later created


All of the above paintings were done by a young Adolph Hitler.

He was an artist and a dreamer long before he became a maniacal dictator. He created nearly 3,000 known works of art, including drawings, watercolors, and oil paintings.

He was largely self-taught and his lack of professional training is the reason his efforts didn't impress his artistic superiors. His two attempts to enroll as a student in the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts were rejected - in 1907 and 1908. He was coldly deemed to have "unfitness for painting."

Another strike against him was that - at that time - cubism, surrealism, and fauvism were in vogue. Hitler considered himself to be an artist in the Academic tradition and his artistic style was viewed as drab and old-fashioned.

During his lean years, Hitler earned a meager living by selling his artwork on the streets of Vienna. One can't help wondering how history might have  changed if Hitler would have been accepted at the Art Academy.

My personal opinion?
When I look at Hitler's paintings, I view them solely for artistic value - without having any prejudices about the monster that the artist later became. I like his work.

He wasn't a sublime artistic genius, but I think he had extraordinary raw talent that could have been nourished and developed into something great.

In truth:
the arrogant, pompous officials at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts unduly gave Hitler the shaft.



Note - 
In case anyone is interested - which I seriously doubt (*sarcastic smile*) -  I've posted more of Hitler's paintings on my other blog. This link should get you there.

Fuhrer With a Palette 

28 comments:

  1. I've seen some of his art before and I agree that he had some significant raw talent. I wonder if he would have followed a different path if he hadn't been rejected? Winston Churchill and Prince Charles have also impressed me with their work.

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    1. Ironically, I initially considered posting some paintings by Churchill. Perhaps next time.

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  2. I don't have an artist's eye but I like quite a few of these. I wonder if he is portraying the Madonna and Child in the second picture. We have several original paintings from completely unknown artists. We just buy what we like, not because it is famous - could't afford anything but a print if it's well known. It's just too bad those pompous school officials couldn't recognize raw talent.

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    1. Yes, that is a portrait of Madonna and Child, painted in 1913 when Hitler was 24.

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  3. I daresay the rejection of Hitler's artistic work and talent turned him into an angry man. That anger festered. And he ultimately found a way to get even. He become a monster with unyielding power. The atrocities he committed destroyed the lives of countless people and changed history forever. Something to remember, for sure. I can not see the artwork objectively knowing who painted them. SORRY.

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    1. I certainly understand your feelings - and I'm sure the vast majority of people would agree with you. As difficult as it is, I always try to view things objectively. When I look at the paintings I see an artist, not a madman.
      What puzzles me is how someone with artistic inclinations could turn into a ruthless madman (I think he must have always been that way, deep down).

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  4. An interesting entry. I wouldn't mind seeing some more of Hitler's are work.

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    1. I'll post some on my other blog tonight.

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  5. I knew Hitler was an aspiring artist, but this is the first time I've seen any of his work. I think they're quite good.

    Such a shame to think what might have been. Kinda the same with Fidel Castro. He was an aspiring baseball player.

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    1. I never knew Castro was a baseball player. If only he stuck with baseball and Hitler stayed with art, it might have been a much better world.

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  6. I had no idea!
    .....and yes, I'm more than a little intrigued, wondering if history might have been rewritten.

    That first painting? Seriously, I could sit and stare at it for hours on end.
    Mind you, I don't know a whit about art, but I know what speaks to my imagination.


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  7. It's refreshing to know that you have an open mind about Hitler's art. I was always curious about it - since it's a chapter in his life that is largely overlooked. I've never liked Hitler the man - but hs art is indeed intriguing.

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  8. I read Hitler's biography many years ago. It covered his artistic endeavors, with comments about why his art was not well received by those who know of such things. His over the top attention to detail was partly his downfall. Notice in one of the pictures you posted, he literally drew every single brick on the building. Imagine the effort that took. Personally, I like detail. Many of those look like photographs. Apparently that is not the thing which makes one a real artist.

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  9. One more thing, Jon. Did you know that Hitler was of Jewish descent?

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    1. Yes, I knew that Hitler had some Jewish blood. I think much of his hate and prejudices against other people actually had a lot to do with self-hatred.

      I like realistic details in art and photographic paintings.

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  10. Interesting pictures, Jon. Hitler's architectural renderings are done with great care, but are either peopled by microscopic figures or not at all. Where his paintings of human figures were not derivative and unenthusiastic, they were hardly more than croquis. There was a grand vision there that may have taken a positive turn with time and training --he clearly had the talent and determination-- but something went really haywire. Going from art to genocide is a career shift unlikely to occur without progrssive criminal insanity.

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  11. Geo, I've never understood how someone could digress from "art to genocide" - - but I suppose he must have been extremely emotionally troubled (demented) from the very beginning.

    I recently learned that in later life (from his 30's and up) he had many health problems (real and imagined) and took an ENORMOUS amount of drugs and medications. This undoubtedly affected his his already degenerate frame of mind.

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    1. Sorry for the typos - my mind is deteriorating, too....

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  12. Top one looks very Xmas-cardy. On my one and only visit to Vienna 30 years ago I sat eating my sandwiches outside that Church and watched a wedding party emerging. My experience would have taken on a different flavour if I'd known that Herr H. must also have spent quite a bit of time working not far from where I'd been sitting.
    It looks a pretty good painting to me, as they all really do, at least to my untutored eye.

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  13. That's fascinating, Ray. I had never seen the church before and wasn't sure if it was real or merely a figment of Die Fuhrer's imagination. He did have a keen eye for art. If he had been accepted at the academy, PERHAPS it would have saved the world a lot of trouble.
    Thanks for your input.

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    1. By the way , Ray,
      you can include the church story in the list of interesting facts about yourself which, hopefully, someday you'll write. (*smile*)

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    2. "DIE Fuhrer?" I shouldn't have thought the notorious man would have taken kindly to aspersions on his sex. (Sorry, Jon. Couldn't resist it - though I've had the advantage of having lived a few years in Germany.) Btw: Did you know that that particular 'F' word, meaning 'leader' generally in German, isn't used any more in that country's 'polite' society, as it has too many undesirable historical associations. The more socially acceptable word now is 'Der Leiter'.

      Interesting facts about myself? Well, at least there's one now! You're going to need the patience of Job to wait for an entire volume, or evenjust an essay, to emerge, if it ever does. :-)



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    3. I knew you'd catch that "glitch". Was it purposeful disrespect??....I never realized that political correctness had made its way to German. I thought it was only an American thing.

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    4. Jon, my mixing with Germans revealed to me that they are every bit as sloppy with their own grammar as a lot of (most?) us Brits are with our own - and I found some atrocious spellings there too. I guess when it comes down to it, people are much the same the world over.

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  14. WOW! I scrolled down and was amazed when you revealed the painter. interesting.

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    1. WOW was my first reaction, too.

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  15. WOW! (and I am not copying Anne Marie"s first reaction. Who knew? I had heard that Hitler was a failed and amateur artist "without talent" but looking at his work . . . I too like it. I would buy it, whoever does it. Another very interesting post Jon.
    Ron

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    1. Ron, I honestly think Hitler's paintings are harshly criticized simply because he was Hitler. For a self-taught artist, he was remarkably good.

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