Auction Date: 26/11/2014 at 01pm
WWII – [Hitler] drawing of a female nude, attributed to Adolf Hitler, executed in brown and red crayon signed ‘A Hitler 1907’ in bottom right hand corner. Image size approx 10x7 inches on paper, left hand edge shows slight tears consistent with paper being torn out of a sketch book. We are informed by the vendor that this drawing was brought back from Germany in 1945 by a US Army Officer. We have studied the drawing carefully and note that it conforms in style to other works attributed to Hitler and we also note that the signature on this drawing conforms to the known signature of Adolf Hitler at this period of his life. Hitler’s output at this time, when he was working as a jobbing artist in Vienna, was mainly to sell paintings to tourists usually of landscapes and still life studies of flowers and fruit. He also made a living out of contacting wealthy people and offering to produce paintings of their houses – allowing the allies during WWII to promote the idea that he had been a ‘house painter’ – ie a jobbing painter and decorator rather than an artist and this belief is still widely held today. Studies by Hitler of the human form – particularly the female form – are scarce. However during this period he was desperately trying to enter the Vienna Academy, and would have been required to produce a body of work which included life studies. He made two applications both of which were rejected on the grounds of the poor quality of his work. The fact that the Academy had significant Jewish elements has given rise to theories that it was this rejection – perceived in his raging mind as being by Jews – was largely responsible for both his incendiary anger at rejection and the anti-Semitism which raged through Europe under the Nazi yolk.