ORIGINAL ADOLF HITLER WATERCOLOR

Vienna City Hall: Winter

item # F - 402n

Offered for sale is the

ORIGINAL ADOLF HITLER WATERCOLOR

Vienna City Hall: Winter

Adolf Hitler. “Vienna City Hall: Winter.”  It is well-known from the historical record that Hitler frequently painted the same scene multiple times. The variations between works were minor, usually a rearrangement of figures in the streets or more or fewer windows in a building. This watercolor of The Vienna City Hall, however, offers a new view of the artist. A very well-known painting by Hitler adorns the cover of Billy Price’s seminal work, Adolf Hitler: The Unknown Artist. The title, according to Price is “Vienna City Hall.”  That painting shows the building with figures on a path in front of it. It is obviously fall and the colors are brilliantly autumnal. The present painting from the Hess collection, about which Price knew little or nothing, is the exact same scene, but it is now covered in a beautiful blanket of snow. The figures have vanished, but the building remains, solid and austere. Hitler’s love-hate relationship with Vienna—he called it “the Babylon of the West,” is clearly illustrated in this work. While admiring the architecture of the city, its lavish opera house and Ring boulevard, he detested its people which were from all parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and included huge numbers of Slavs from Russia and  eastern Europe, including large numbers of refugee Jews. This painting, it is easy to imagine, shows the intricate beauty of the structure and the trees around it, but the Viennese residents have taken respite from the weather. Only Hitler, now living in a shelter, is outside braving the elements to create his art. Many famous artists such as Claude Monet have painted  variant versions of a particular scene in varying light and weather. While there is no evidence that a Spring and Summer version of this composition was ever created, these two paintings are unique in the oeuvre of Adolf Hitler because they reveal the inner vision Hitler had of this city and its people. There is a closed tear to the upper right quadrant in the tree branches with a decades old tape repair. When Mrs. Hess was asked the source of the damage she remembered explicitly that an American “Feldwebel” roughly picked up her husband’s “assorted papers” in the late 1940s and put his thumb through the painting which was at the bottom of the pile. She later “repaired” it “with a little cellophane tape.” The paper it is painted on has been darkened from its original wood-backed framing and is, therefore, slightly brittle, explaining the sergeant’s damaging thumb. Nonetheless, a finer work from this artist during his formative Vienna period would be difficult to find. 23” x 15.2” signed and dated by the artist, lower right. A brilliant work.

$18,500.00 including domestic shipping with USPS. Shipping with other carriers optional at additional cost.

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