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Franz Triebsch, Bildnis des Führers

Franz Triebsch, Bildnis des Führers Franz Triebsch, Bildnis des Führers Franz Triebsch, Bildnis des Führers

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Price:€ 6000.00

Description

Franz Triebsch, 'Bildnis des Führers', 1941 ('Portrait of the Leader'). 

Extremely well-executed original oleograph of Adolf Hitler;
d
one by Franz Triebsch, one of Hitler's Court Painters.
This large oleograph, also known as a chromolithograph or Ölfarbendrück, can only be distinguished from an original painting by using a microscope. Unlike an ordinary poster, an oleograph is not a simple reproduction of the original but an adapted reproduction that aims to look like an original painting. The offset process is done with oils. By means of steal stamps a realistic relief is created in the paper and the original brushstrokes are imitated. Here also the canvas structure is partially copied. A thick layer of varnish protects the image and at the same time strengthens the impression of an original painting. The paper on which this oleograph is created is stretched over a (inner) wooden frame. The original image is quite likely enriched with some hand-made brush strokes that were planned in advance under supervision of Franz Triebsch in order to increase the realistic effect. The (outer) frame, measuring 98 cm x 77 cm, is also original from 1941. With the naked eye one sees a painting. Only a microscope (min. 15x) reveals that it is actually an oleograph.

This oleograph of Adolf Hitler is made after Triebsch painting which hung in the Great German Art Exhibition in 1941, room 14 (see below). It hung in an official building of the Wehrmacht in Northern Germany until 1945. Since the war it has been privately owned.
Two paintings of Franz Triebsch, one of them depicting Hitler, are still in the possession of the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C. We have not seen any other surviving painting from Triebsch depicting Hitler; it is very likely they have all been destroyed. Also from these oleographs, with their fragile structure of stretched paper, we have not seen any in the last decades.
 

- condition        : II
- size : 98 x 77 cm, unframed 80 x 60 cm
- signed : left under
- type : oleograph (chromolithograph/ ölfarbendruck)
- misc. : professional cleaned; frame restored


Franz Triebsch, postcards*. 'Bildnis des Führers' ('Portrait of the Leader'), GDK 1941, room 14.
  


Left: Franz Triebsch, 'Bildnis des Führers' ('Portrait of the Leader'), art print. GDK 1939, room 23.
Right: 'Generalfeldmarschall Von Schlieffen', GDK 1940, room 23. Both paintings are in possession of the US Army Center of Military History (according to US-law they fall within the public domain, including the copyright).
  


Franz Triebsch, 'Hindenburg in Black Tie', art print*. Depicted as frontispiece in 'Hindenburg, Das leben eines Deutschen', 1926. 



Franz Triebsch, postcard, ‘Leonardo da Vinci malt das Abendmahl’ (‘Leonardo da Vinci painting The Last Evening Meal’). GDK 1941, room 15. Bought by Hitler for 23.000 RM. In possession of the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin.


Left: 'Kaiser Wilhelm II', postcard. After a painting by Franz Triebsch.
Right: 'Generalfeldmarshall Von Hindenburg', art print*. After a painting by Franz Triebsch. Depicted in the book 'Hindenburg, Das leben eines Deutschen', 1926.   
 


Left: Franz Triebsch, art print, ‘Generaloberst Von Seeckt’, 1937, room 13.
Right: Franz Triebsch, 'Generalfeldmarschal von Hindenburg', art print. After a painting by Franz Triebsch.
  


Left: Franz Triebsch, ‘Generaloberst von Kessel’, artprint. Displayed at the ‘Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung’, 1914.
Prussian Generaloberst von Kessel (1846-1918) served as Ajutant GeneraL for Kaiser Wilhelm II during WWI. From 1909 to 1918 Von Kessel headed the Supreme Command of Mark Brandenburg and also served as Governor of Berlin.
Right: Franz Triebsch, 'Mädchen aus Olevano' ('Girl from Olevano'). Displayed at the Grosse Berliner Kunst-Ausstellung 1901.
  


Adolf Hitler visiting the Grosse Deutsche Kunstausstellung 1939. In white uniform: Italian propaganda minister Dino Alfieri, behind Hitler Gerdie Troost. On the background the portrait ‘Die Schwestern’, room 26, by Franz Triebsch.




Hitler as art
Thirty-six paintings and busts of Hitler were displayed at the Great German Art Exhibitions from 1937 to 1944. The first painting that people saw when they entered the exhibition was one of Der Führer in Room 1. In similar fashion, the official exhibition catalogues all started with a picture of the “Schirmherr (patron) Des Haus der Deutschen Kunst”. Around 450 portraits depicting Hitler and other Nazi-officials and symbols are currently stored in the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington. Keeping this German War Art Collection in the US is not seen by the Americans as a violation of the 1907 Hague Convention and the 1970 UNESCO Treaty on cultural property, as they don’t classify these paintings as art. 
This remarkable point of view leads us to the following question: Is a painting of Angela Merkel, Joseph Stalin, Benjamin Netanyahu or General Spoor art or non-art? And who decides this? Respectively German left-wing extremists? Russian civilians? Palestinians or Indonesian civilians? Can people be interested in a portrait of Napoleon (or Hitler) because of it’s historical significance? Or does their interest mean that they are automatically right-wing extremists with the aim of conquering the whole of Europe? This last point of view echoes the theory of Hannah Ahrend who states: “The essence of terror lies in the immediate transition from accusation to conviction. One thing we learned very well from the tragic 1930s and 1940s is that classifying art as ‘non-art’ and forbidding books for political reasons is a dead-end street. No matter how much one dislikes Hitler, Napoleon, Caligula or Stalin, and no matter how much their depictions were used as propaganda, a painting or sculpture of them cannot be reclassified as “non art”.


The extreme scarcity of National Socialistic art
Massive, systematic destruction of Nazi art since 1945: the Potsdam-Agreement
From 1933 to 1949 Germany experienced two massive art purges. Both the National Socialist government and OMGUS (the U.S. Military Government in Germany) were highly concerned with controlling what people saw and how they saw it. The Nazis eliminated what they called ‘Degenerate art’, erasing the pictorial traces of turmoil and heterogeneity that they associated with modern art. The Western Allies in turn eradicated ‘Nazi art’ and forbade all artworks military subjects or themes that could have military and/or chauvinist symbolism from pictorial representation. Both the Third Reich and OMGUS utilized the visual arts as instruments for the construction of new German cultural heritages.
The Potsdam Agreement of 2 August 1945, subparagraph 3, Part III, Section A stated that one purpose of the occupation of Germany was ‘to destroy the National Socialistic Party and its affiliated and supervised organizations and to dissolve all Nazi and militaristic activity or propaganda.’ In accordance with Allied Control Council laws and military government regulations, all documents and objects which might tend to revitalize the Nazi spirit or German militarism would be confiscated or destroyed. For example, Title 18, Military Government Regulation, OMGUS stated that: ‘all collections of works of art related or dedicated to the perpetuation of German militarism or Nazism will be closed permanently and taken into custody.’ As a consequence, thousands of paintings –portraits of Nazi-leaders, paintings containing a swastika or depicting military/war sceneries– were considered ‘of no value’ and destroyed. With knives, fires and hammers, they smashed countless sculptures and burned thousands of paintings. Around 8,722 artworks were shipped to military deposits in the U.S.
OMGUS regulated and censored the art world. The Information Control Division (ICD, the key structure in the political control of post-war German culture in the American zone) was in fact a non-violent version of the Reichskulturkammer (Reich Chamber of Culture). With its seven subdivisions (i.e. press, literature, radio, film, theatre, music, and art), the ICD neatly replaced the Reich Chamber of Culture. The ICD established through its various sections a system of licensed activity, with screening and vetting by Intelligence to exclude all politically undesirable people.

‘Free’ German artists producing ‘free German art’ after 1945
In the ideology of OMGUS, painting was conceived of as a strategic element in the campaign to politically re-educate the German people for a new democratic internationalism. Modern art allowed for the establishment of an easy continuity with the pre-Nazi modernist past, and it could serve as a springboard for the international projection of Germany as a new country interacting with its new Western partners.
‘Free’ artists producing ‘free art’ was one of the most powerful symbols of the new Germany, the answer to the politically controlled art of the Third Reich. Modern art linked Western Germany to Western Europe – separating the new West German aesthetic and politics from that of the Nazi era, the U.S.S.R., and East Germany – and suggested an ‘authentically’ German identity.







Franz Triebsch, one of Hitler’s Court Painters
Franz Triebsch (1870–1956) was a German painter born in Berlin. After his studies at the Berliner Academy under Max Koner, he made various trips to Italy and South America. In 1899 he was awarded the ‘Grossen Staatspreis’ and around 1900 he was given the title of professor. In 1910 he built a house in Ahrenshoop (on the German coast near Rostock) were he stayed during the summer. In Ahrenshoop he was connected to the painters H. Eschke, C. Kayser-Eichberg and F. Koch-Gothe. Triebsch was mainly a portrait painter, but occasionally he painted landscapes.
In 1914 he painted Kaiser Wilhelm II von Preusen and in 1922 he created a portrait of Paul von Hindenburg (which was depicted in different versions on numerous postcards in the 1920s). During the Third Reich Franz Triebsch created many portraits of Hitler and other Nazi leaders. Together with Fritz Erler, Conrad Hommel, Heinrich Knirr and Karl Truppe, he was one of the major Court Painters of Hitler. He was given the prestigious Goethe Medal on the day he turned 70, in March 1940.
At the Great German Art Exhibitions Franz Triebsch was represented with eight works (until 1942). Among these were the following: Bildnis des Führers (GDK 1941), Generalritter Von Speck (GDK 1941), Generaloberst Von Seeckt (GDK 1937), Generalfeldmarshall Graf Schlieffen (GDK 1941) and Bildnis des Führers (GDK 1939). The last two paintings, which are shown above, are still in the possession of the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C.
In 1941 Franz Triebsch became completely blind. His studio in Berlin was bombed and destroyed in 1943.

* As also stated in our General Terms and Conditions, German Art Gallery offers the depicted postcards and original art prints for sale. Allmost all of the postcards are 'Haus der Deutschen Kunst' editions. Prices on request.