Background: Hitler knew the importance of his image. Photographs of him could be released only with his personal approval. Art was even more carefully watched. Here I provide examples of Hitler portraits taken from Die Kunst im deutschen Reich, the Nazi Party’s art magazine, and several other sources. Published by the Zentralverlag der NSDAP, it was a prestige magazine, printed on excellent paper and with high quality reproductions. There was also a profusion of busts and posters portraying Hitler. When the magazine carried a Hitler portrait, it was often the frontpiece.
||This widely distributed print by Hoyer was titled “In the Beginning was the Word,” a clear reference to the opening of the biblical Gospel of John.|
||I am not certain of the date of this astonishing painting, although I am quite sure it is from the 1930’s. It makes the most direct Christological comparison I’ve seen. Just as a dove descended on Christ when he was baptised by John the Baptist, so what looks to be an eagle hovers against the light of heaven over an idealized Hitler. The text: “Long live Germany!” Courtesy of Dr. Robert D. Brooks.|
|This rather striking drawing is by H. Oloffs, based on a Hoffmann photograph, and is the frontpiece to Hans Heinz Mantau-Sadila, Deutsche Führer Deutsches Schicksal: Das Buch der Künder und Führer des dritten Reiches (Berlin: Verlag und Versand für Deutsche Literatur Hans Eugen Hummel, 1934).|
|This widely distributed 1935 portrait is by Heinrich Knirr.|
|This painting hung in a memorial museum of Nazi history in Buchholz, a town near Hannover. The artist, about whom I know nothing, is listed as Professor Schmidt-Weimar.|
|This is an example of the mass-produced Hitler pictures that people could hang in their homes.|
|This portrait by K. I. Böhringer is taken from the September 1936 issue of Der Schulungsbrief, the Nazi monthly for political education.|
|This is another portrait by Heinrich Knirr. It was on exhibit at the Greater German Art Exhibition in 1937. The image comes from Die Kunst im Dritten Reich, October 1937.|
|This portrait is from a 1937 issue of the Nazi women's magazine, the N.S. Frauenwarte (#22, 1936/37).|
A visitor to the site provided me with this remarkable portrait. Her father was based near Munich during the occupation and went into the beer hall where many of Hitler’s early meetings were held. She provides this background story: “The building had been bombed with the roof missing, but on one wall behind the podium where Hitler had spoken was this painting. For some unknown reason, this poor farm boy from Oklahoma took a liking to it, so he took it out of the frame and rolled it up and brought it back in a map case.” It is an oil painting on canvas and measures 4'2" x 2'4".
The artist is Franz Thiele.
|This Franz Triebsch portrait is taken from the Deutsche Illustrierte Zeitung, #16/1939.|
|This portrait is also from the Deutsche Illustrierte Zeitung, #16/1939, by an unidentified artist. Hitler is greeting the troops.|
|This 1940 comes from the Nazi illustrated weekly, the Illustrierter Beobachter. It was published just after the German victory in Norway. I can’t quite decipher the artist.|
|This 1940 portrait is by Conrad Hommel.|
|A 1941 portrait by Otto von Kursell.|
|Another 1941 portrait, this one by Franz Triebsch.|
|This portrait was on the cover of the Illustrierter Beobachter, #16/1941 — the issue on Hitler’s birthday. No artist is given.|
|This one is from the Greater German Art Exhibition of 1942. The artist is Rudolf Gerhard Zill. The illustration is from Der Schulungsbrief (#11/12 1942).|
|A 1942 portrait by Hans Schachinger.|
|There was a major industry producing busts of Hitler. This one is by Johann Friedrich Rogge.|
Hitler’s image showed up in many places. Here, he is on the cover of a matchbook commemorating the Nuremberg party rally. This image is slightly enlarged
Go to the 1933-45 Page.
Go to the German Propaganda Home Page.