This painting of Adolf Hitler is one in a series. The artist has depicted the Fuehrer during his last walk in the Reich’s Chancellery Garden. The date of the event was 29 April, 1945. A symbolic raven accompanies him while a Home Guard soldier stands nearby.
The artist has portrayed Hitler with stooped shoulders, dark coat and hands in pockets. That suitably fits the theme of the painting. Historically, this painting would represent Hitler’s mood before his re-entry to the bunker where he, and his loved one, Eva, met their ugly demise.
There is contrast in tonal values in the painting. The walls and figures are dark, and the outside light is low. Hitler’s shadow is cast into the foreground of the painting, and it appears as if it is late afternoon. His silhouette has been placed slightly off centre, and is in fitting with the compositional rules of canvas painting.
The artist chose to use red-violet and black as the dominant colours in this painting. The negative, spiritual side of the colour, red, is linked with narrow-minded individuals who seek domination over others to obtain power. The positive side is linked with the human will to survive. Violet, (and bluish red colours), ‘conform to a restless, malleable, passionate and tender frame of mind’ according to Johann Wolfgang van Goethe (1749-1832), a poet, scientist and scholar.
Hitler certainly struggled within himself when he walked through the Chancellery Garden.
Despite this not being the neatest of the artist’s paintings, the desperate feeling of the situation has been well captured, and this overrides any weaknesses in the brushwork.
Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed.)