Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hitler, the rejected artist

The provenance of these pictures is not very clear and they seem rather unlike Hitler's other art. It would be amusing if they were eventually found to be by a more respected artist and the critics were pissing on them for nothing! Note that the claims about Hitler being infuriated by his rejection from the art school are phrased very tentatively -- for good reason. In "Mein Kampf" Hitler evinces no such anger and in fact emphatically agrees with the Rector that his main talent was in architecture

They represent the hopes of an ambitious young artist. But these sketches failed to impress selectors at a prestigious art college . . . and those dreams were shattered. Who knows just how momentous were the implications of that rejection.

The teenage artist is believed to have been Adolf Hitler. It may be folklore, but it is now said he blamed a Jewish professor at the Vienna Academy of Art for refusing his application to study.

Hitler Hitler

Budding artist Adolf Hitler is believed to have submitted the portfolio to the Vienna Academy of Art - which rejected him twice

The sketches are expected to fetch up to £6,000 when they go on sale next month, a price that has more to do with the notoriety rather than talent of the artist.

Hitler's portfolio is said to show a moderate artistic ability no greater than the average GCSE student. The works consist of nudes, human figures, objects and landscapes. Most are dated 1908, the year 19-year-old Hitler was rejected by the academy for the second time and not even permitted to sit the entrance exam. Others are dated the following year.



Speculation: Hitler is believed to have blamed a Jewish professor for his rejection from the academy. Some believe this sparked his persecution of Jews in later life

Hitler moved to Vienna as a young man in 1905 and lived a bohemian lifestyle, making a little money by selling pictures he copied from postcards. At one point he ended up in a hostel for the homeless and later claimed it was in Vienna where the fires of his anti-Semitism were ignited.


Up for auction: The pictures are expected to sell for up to £6,000 each when they are auctioned in Ludlow, Shropshire next month

Richard Westwood-Brookes, of the auction house in Shropshire which is selling the archive, said the pictures were owned by an artist based in Europe who had had them for many years. 'It is the first time the pictures have come to light and can be seen by the general public,' he said.

It is not, however, the first time that Hitler's early life as a budding artist has been on show. Last year a series of watercolours were sold in Britain. They included what was thought to have been his first selfportrait. Painted in 1910, it showed a solitary figure with dark straight hair sitting on a stone bridge. A cross was painted above the head along with the initials AH.


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