Friday, July 31, 2009
"Imagine if Hitler would have been accepted [to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna] and I would have been rejected. I would have run the world quite differently and he couldn't have done that harm that he did being a bad painter." - Oskar Kokoschka quoted by (oops) a guy I can't remember
Recently watched The Rape of Europa (2007), an interesting documentary about another side of Hitler that is often overshadowed by the horrific role he played in World War II. In it, I learned that Hitler was an aspiring painter that was passionate about the arts. (And from the atrocities that he committed, you'd think his paintings would be all crazy and evil, but they're actually really boring ones of scenery.) Besides taking miiiiiillions of lives, he also forcefully stole more than 16,000 works of art from private collections and museums, including masterpieces like Klimt's portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (recovered) and Rapahel's Portrait of a Young Man (still missing).
And as the quote above mentions, Hitler was not accepted into art school as a young man, ultimately leading him to choose a different career path. Can you imagine how incredibly different history would have unfolded? What if there was no World War II? No Holocaust? What if Hitler became a prominent painter? It's crazy to think about.