The use of a strong, red-violet mother colour in this very ‘tight’ and serious study of Hitler, speaks volumes. Similar photographic profiles of Hitler have been seen in books and newspapers.
The profile is strong, and well positioned on the canvas. The artist used the rule of ‘thirds’ for this painting, having the canvas broken into nine sections to enhance the viewing experience. The central focus is on the man’s eye, moustache and ear.
Hitler’s shape is strengthened by light coming from above and behind him, and by the use of white highlighting, but the mood is dark. His eyes are hidden by the visor.
The painting has a ‘scrubbed’ and textured look, achieved by repeated brush work, layering and possible use of a palette knife. The dabs of darker paint on the red background enhance the painting and do not detract from the subject.
The colour choice is one often favoured by the artist. A combination of red-violet and blue-violet colours is in contrast to the yellow band on Hitler’s neatly painted cap.
Colour symbolism in western culture suggests violet/purple in the negative can mean cruelty and arrogance. Red in the negative symbolises aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence, aggression, all things intense and passionate. White in the negative suggests cold and clinical behaviours. Did these traits suit Hitler? See other paintings in this series.
Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed. Minor repair during restoration.)