This neat *‘portaricature’ (fusion of portrait and caricature) of a well-dressed, young Adolf Hitler is one of several paintings of the subject undertaken by the artist.
Though the artist has exaggerated facial features, and lengthened Hitler’s neck in this painting, it is not as long faced as in the painting The Last Night. Here the width of the nose at eye level is more realistic, though the nose itself has been elongated and widened. (Interestingly, some face readers suggest that a person with a long nose is insensitive yet philanthropic.)
Because of the elongated nose and large moustache, the small, downturned mouth appears a little too far down the face. Hitler is portrayed as a sad man, and at first glance his oversized, blue eyes meet those of the viewer. He looks concerned or worried. This is emphasized by the dark line that surrounds his nose and forms his eyebrows. Add to this, the intensely dark background, and there is even greater exaggeration. There is nothing in the background to distract the viewer’s eye.
Hitler’s pupils have been centrally placed and are in correct proportions to the irises. The viewer is followed by the subject’s eyes no matter where he or she goes. Records indicate that Hitler was able to influence people with his gaze. He possibly practised ‘tricks’ used by entertainers when he spoke, and actually didn’t look anyone in the eyes.
The artist has used strong colour, and has indicated shadow by having a dark area beneath the subject’s chin. Skin tone is mostly reddish, and this is reflected in the subject’s shirt. His body proportion, in relation to his head, is quite small and suggests a timid personality at some level.
The dark tone of this painting matches the serious mood of the subject. The elongated neck in this painting suggests that the subject feels quite awkward.
Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed.)