Unbiased Appraisal of Hitler’s Art

From the Jewish Daily Forward:

After reading Frederic Spotts’s Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics as a Yeshiva University undergraduate, I conducted an experiment. I approached passersby on Amsterdam Avenue and showed them Hitler’s paintings, covering up the information below each work. My classmates praised the “Impressionistic” palette and the “realism” of the landscapes. When I exposed the artist credits, they were horrified. Nothing had changed about the quality of the art, but the idea of praising anything about such an evil man was understandably anathema.

– Menachem Wecker, “Can Charles Krafft be Defended?“,
The Jewish Daily Forward, 5 March 2013

The widespread notion that Hitler could not correctly represent the human figure is based on Hitler’s hasty paintings made for postcards. The postcard-paintings were hasty because he was earning his living with them and they did not need to be perfect. When he was making a serious effort he could represent the human figure well enough. 

The image at the top, and the two below, are from the portfolio that Hitler submitted when he applied for art-school. What may have worked against Hitler above all in his application to art-school is that his works were in the out-of-date Biedermeier style.


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