Paintings by Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler , leader of the Nazi Party in Germany in the previous years and during World War II , was also a painter. 1 Hitler produced hundreds of works and sold hispaintings and postcardsto try to make a living during his years in Vienna (1908-1913). However, it was unsuccessful. Subsequently, several of his paintings were recovered after World War II and have since been sold at auctions for tens of thousands of dollars. Other works were confiscated by the US Army and are currently heldthe US government .


Artistic ambition

In his autobiography Mein Kampf , Hitler described how, in his youth, he wanted to be a professional artist, but his aspirations were ruined by not passing the entrance exam to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts . 2 Hitler was rejected twice by the institute, once in 1907 and again in 1908; 3 the institute considered that it had more talent in architecture than in painting. One of the instructors, who sympathized with his situation and believed that he had some talent, suggested that it be applied in the Academic School of Architecture. However, this required Hitler to return to the high school he had abandoned and to which he was unwilling to return.

Later, when painting and selling postcards with scenes from Vienna , Hitler frequented artists’ cafes in Munich with the unfulfilled hope that consecrated artists could help him with his ambition to paint professionally.

According to a conversation before the outbreak of World War II in August 1939, published in the Blue Book of the British War, Hitler told the British ambassador Nevile Henderson , “I am an artist and not a politician . The Polish question, I want to end my life as an artist. ” 2

Period in Vienna

Watercolors painted by Adolf Hitler and owned by his personal photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann , preserved in the Military History Center of the United States Army after its confiscation during the occupation of Germany

From 1908 to 1913, Hitler dedicated himself to painting postcards and houses for a living. He painted his first self-portrait in 1910 at the age of 21. This painting, along with twelve other paintings by Hitler, was discovered in 1945 in Essen , Germany. 3

Samuel Morgenstern, an Austrian businessman and business associate of the young Hitler in his Vienna period, bought many of his paintings. According to Morgenstern, Hitler first came to him in the early 1910s (in 1911 or 1912), when Hitler first came to his warehouse and offered him three of his paintings. Morgenstern maintained a database of his clients, through which it was possible to locate buyers of Hitler’s paintings. It was found that most of the buyers were Jewish. An important client of Morgenstern, a lawyer by the name of Josef Feingold, bought a series of paintings of Hitler representing the old Vienna. 4

World War I

When Hitler served as a soldier in World War I at the age of 25 in 1914, he took his paintings with him to the front and spent his leisure hours devoting himself to painting. The subjects of his painting of war included houses of farmers, stations, etc.


A series of Hitler paintings were confiscated by the United States Army at the end of World War II. They were taken to the United States with other captured materials, and are still held by the US government, which has refused to allow them to be displayed. 5 Other paintings were taken by private owners. In the decade of 2000, some of these works began to be sold in auctions. 6 In 2009, an auction house in Shropshire sold 15 of Hitler’s paintings for a total of $ 120,000, 7 while an auction house also in Shropshire sold 13 works for more than € 100,000. 8 At a 2012 auction in Slovakia , an individual painting sold for $ 42,300. Referring to Fig.

Critical analysis

According to the weekly magazine Life magazine , Hitler painted hundreds of works. Some of these show that Hitler’s ability to paint was poor; [ Citation needed ] for example, because he painted people rarely. The cause that was speculated was lack of will or lack of ability. His paintings emphasize architecture, showing public places, buildings and country houses. In others, however, it was concluded that “he had a pinch of talent.” A modern art critic was asked to review some of his paintings without telling who painted them and labeled them “very good.” He criticized that Hitler’s different style in drawing human figures represented a profound lack of interest in people. 10

According to a report titled Hitler’s Watercolors: Recovered Works of Art: Homage to Rodolfo Siviero , prepared by the Alinari Brothers , the colors Hitler used to paint water show that he was “sad” as a painter. 1


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b Enzo Colotti; Riccardo Mariani (30 June 2005). The water colors of Hitler: recovered art works: homage to Rodolfo Siviero; With texts . Fratelli Alinari spa. P. 5. ISBN  978-88-7292-054-1 . Accessed March 4, 2012 .
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b Adolf Hitler; Max Domarus (April 1, 2007). The Essential Hitler: speeches and commentary . Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. Pp. fifteen-. ISBN  978-0-86516-627-1 . Accessed March 4, 2012 .
  3. ↑ Jump to:a b Wilkes, David (March 25, 2009). «Face of a monster: Self-portrait of Hitler painted when he was just 21 revealed at auction» . Daily Mail . Retrieved on March 13, 2012 .
  4. Back to top↑ Brigitte Hamann; Hans Mommsen (August 3, 2010). Hitler’s Vienna: Portrait of the Tyrant as a Young Man . Tauris Parke Paperbacks. P. 356. ISBN  978-1-84885-277-8 . Accessed March 4, 2012 .
  5. Back to top↑ Marc Fisher, “The Art of Evil, Half a century later, the paintings of Adolf Hitler are still a federal case,” The Washington Post , Apr. 21, 2002, p. W.26
  6. Back to top↑ Ng, David (January 30, 2012). «Would you buy this painting by Adolf Hitler?» . Los Angeles Times . Retrieved on March 13, 2012 .
  7. Back to top↑ «Hitler’s art attracts big sale prices» . CNN . April 23, 2009 . Retrieved on March 13, 2012 .
  8. Back to top↑ «Hitler paintings sold at British auction house» . Deutsche Welle. April 24, 2009 . Retrieved on March 13, 2012 .
  9. Back to top↑ «Hitler Painting Sold At Auction» . NDJ World. January 29, 2012 . Retrieved on March 13, 2012 .
  10. Back to top↑ Spotts, Frederic Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics (Overlook TP, 2004) ISBN 978-1-58567-507-4 p.172 See also Adolf Hitler’s Paintings