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World War II May Have Been Avoid By Art

Updated on January 30, 2009
An early unfinished study - (A Private collection)
An early unfinished study - (A Private collection)
Pencil/paper, 1929
Pencil/paper, 1929

The Great What If....?

Imagine how different the course of history may have been if Adolf Hitler had only been accepted to the Academy of Fine Arts at Vienna?  If he had only practiced a little more or maybe applied for admission to another academy? Could have the most destructive war and the most atrocious crimes against humanity in the history of the world been avoided? It was not until Adolf was rejected twice as an artist that he ended up  joining the army and found his way into politics. History would certainly have turned out much differently. 

Little did the review board at that prestigious Academy of Fine Arts at Vienna know that the history of the world was in their hands on those two fateful days!

Farm houses & bridge on the Ybbs in Austria, watercolor, 1910
Farm houses & bridge on the Ybbs in Austria, watercolor, 1910
Restaurant Greinburg in Grein on the Danube, watercolor, 1911
Restaurant Greinburg in Grein on the Danube, watercolor, 1911
Neuburg Cloister on the Danube near Vienna, watercolor, 1911
Neuburg Cloister on the Danube near Vienna, watercolor, 1911
Mother Mary - Oil - 1913
Mother Mary - Oil - 1913
Utopian fortress, watercolor, 1909
Utopian fortress, watercolor, 1909

Adolf Hilter wanted nothing more than to be a famous artist.

He spent his childhood dreaming of gaining entrance into the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts at Vienna. It was his failure to gain acceptence into the academy that changed the course of his life and the world forever.

As a teenager and a young man, Adolf spent much of his time and money attending the opera; his favorites who those by Wagner. After Hitler became an orphan. He lived on his inheritance and an orphan's pension while "studying" for the entrance examination into the school of painting at the Academy in Vienna.

Adolf pretty much took it for granted that he would be accepted for entrance into the Art Academy. So it did come as a complete shock to Hitler, and a bruise to his ego, when young Adolf was not accepted into the Academy the first time he took the entrance examination in 1907. Adolf decided to stay in Vienna to "study," so he could retake the enterance examination.

He spent most of his time in Vienna visiting museums, attending the opera, and admiring the city's architecture. However, the next year when he again applied for admission, he was again rejected. Again, he was denied enterance to the Academy for the same reason "unfitness for painting." He was supposedly told that he had great talents in architecture.

Even though he pretended that he would study to gain entrance into school of architecture, he lacked the educational experience he would have needed, plus he seemed not to have made many serious effort to pursue the needed courses of study in architecture. His ever fascination with architecture would never fail him however. Eventually Adolf's favorite architect became one of his closest advisers when Hitler was Chancellor.

Many people have heard stories that Hitler was a painter in Vienna before the war, but many of the stories are confused as to what type of painting he did. Many people just assumed that he worked as a house painter, but this is not true. After Adolf ran out of money, Hitler found a partner and began producing paintings to sell for a living. He usually copied postcards or painted scenes of Vienna's architecture. By most critical evaluations of his work, it was concidered mediocre at best. It was usually sold either to tourists or to merchants for to resell to innkeepers. He made very little from his painting and was barely able to scrape out a modest existence. As poor as he was at that time, however, it is interesting to note that Hitler did work as a professional artist for a time. It may not have been on the scale he wanted, but he was a professional artists nevertheless.

Even today, his art continues in high demand. Adolf's simple watercolors can fetch several thousands of dollars at auction. Understandably, many auction houses are reluctant to handle the paintings, because of the atrocities he committed during and before World War II.

"Becelaire", watercolor, 1917
"Becelaire", watercolor, 1917
Mountain Lake, watercolor, 1910
Mountain Lake, watercolor, 1910
Karl's Church in Winter, watercolor, 1912
Karl's Church in Winter, watercolor, 1912

Could have art been a reason for World War II in Adolf's mind?

I noticed in film reels that when Adolf Hilter and his canavan were filmed entering a city or country that was taken over by the Nazi military; the first placed he had his driver stop was the art museum. He would then make haste straight inside the museum building.

Most of the artwork stolen by the Nazi's was vaulted away. I believe Adolf wanted to fill the museums and halls with only is work's or the works that were inspired by his. In his last will he wanted only his artworks and the art he had paid for with his money, displayed in all his residences.

Hilter also decreed once time, "That if an artist paints a field of blue, because that is what he see. Then he should be put to death. If he paints a field of blue, because that is what he feels. Then he should be commited to an asylum." Could this have been made out of jealousy, or a bruised ego?

In an interview on 5 June 1946,

Adolf's sister, Paula, recalled the following about her brother:

"I did not hear from him for years, when at last in 1921 I saw him again in Vienna. In the meantime I had moved to Vienna myself. But what occurrences of the time had meanwhile passed over Europe, war and the years after the war with their exorbitant suffering! Only then I was told by my brother, that in 1913 he had moved from Vienna to Munich and that he had taken up aquarelle - painting entirely. I had the impression that he was successful."

The Artwork of Adolf Hitler


Submit a Comment

  • foxility profile image


    9 years ago

    I don't know if that would of changed the course of Hitler's desctruction but like EYEAM said it makes for a good nice conversation.

  • SandraBean profile image


    9 years ago from Canada

    Great hub with unique content! What a different world we would live in!

  • EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

    Kelly W. Patterson 

    9 years ago from Las Vegas, NV.

    Hitler never did give up his desire to be a famous artist:

    "All my life I have wanted to be a great painter in oils ... As soon as I have carried out my program for Germany, I shall take up painting. I feel that I have it in my soul to become one of the great artists of the age and that future historians will remember me not for what I have done for Germany, but for my art."

    It's fun to speculate and makes for a nice conversation, but the truth is that Hitler had very little real talent. He had some ability to mimic another artists work without the creativity required to create his own artistic vision. As an artist, having taken and taught many classes within varying skill levels, I can tell you that there is hue chasm between the two. Pretty much anybody with the desire to practice hard can be taught to copy another artists' mechanics. Even considering that, Hitler's artwork has been described at best as mediocre.

    His inability to separate himself from the pack is the reason for his jealousy (that's what it was) of avant garde artists, who were celebrated for being unique. Many of whom, ironically enough, gained fame from being placed on his list of "degenerate artists."

  • Shalini Kagal profile image

    Shalini Kagal 

    9 years ago from India

    What a different course history would have taken if he had indeed pursued Art! Very thought provoking hub, thanks!


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