News-Antique.com - Nov 20,2007 - While not well known for his watercolors, the failed dictator of Germany, Adolf Hilter, was quite a gifted artist. The esoteric fact Hitler aspired to artistic endeavor, preceding the atrocities for which he is remembered today, is an idiosyncratic component of WWII history.
Understandably, a gallery visit is unlikely to yield any of his work, but occasionally his pieces are bought and sold. Two such paintings have recently surfaced on Manion’s International Auction House - www.manions.com: a 1911 dated watercolor of the Votivkirche in Vienna, and his WWI era interpretation of a French farmhouse.
“This is quite an interesting glimpse into the soul of one of the most infamous figures in world history,” said Manion’s representative John Conway. “To look at these renditions, one would think the hand that held the brush belonged to a gentle man – but history has revealed the opposite.”
The painting of the Votivkirche depicts the distinctive twin spires of the church on a partly cloudy day. The view, from a side street, includes partial façades of adjacent buildings, two horse-drawn carriages, couples walking, a man pulling a cartload of flowers, and another using a telephone booth.
It is authenticated in a 1980 document from Peter Jahn, art consultant to the German embassy in Vienna in 1937-38. Peter Jahn was instrumental in uncovering a number of Hitler paintings in Austria and turning them over to the embassy. He was able at that time to interview the frame makers Morgenstern and Altenberg who had purchased many of Hitler`s works. In Jahn`s opinion, this piece is an original Hitler watercolor, and one of his best. Witnessed and notarized in Vienna, Sept 16, 1980. In addition, the painting is included in the book Adolf Hitler, the Unknown Artist by Billy F. Price.
The work featuring the French farmhouse is also documented in the Price book. Although it is in a bit more rugged condition, it presents equally unbelievable insight into the delicate side of a madman’s psyche.
The reserve price of the Votikriche piece was set at $40,000, and the reserve of the French farmhouse depiction has been set at $9,500 – both auction items close at 8:30 p.m. CST on November 27, 2007. Registration with Manion’s is free, for more information visit www.manions.com or call 866.626.4661.