Hans Happ, Ausziehender Krieger

Hans Happ, Ausziehender Krieger Hans Happ, Ausziehender Krieger Hans Happ, Ausziehender Krieger

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Ausziehender Krieger' ('Departing Warrior')
Displayed at the GDK 1940
, room 8.
Earlier in the possession of the Gauleitung Hessen-Nassau. 

- condition : II                  
- size : 168 x 154 cm, excluding frame
- signed : right, under
- type : oil on canvas   

True German art, eternal and based in Ancient Greece and Roman style.
The art of the Third Reich was characterized by a style of Romantic realism based on classical models. Modern style was banned as degenerate. The Third Reich promoted paintings and sculptures that were narrowly traditional and that exalted the 'blood and soil' values of racial purity, militarism, and obedience. Ancient Greece was interpreted as a flowering of Aryan culture, as were the Romantics. Hitler saw classical Greek and Roman art as uncontaminated by Jewish influences. He was an admirer of imperial Rome, attracted to symbols that bridged successful empires of the past with this own Third Reich. Alfred Rosenberg, one of the most influential Nazi ideologists, claimed that: 'from Aryan India came metaphysics, from classical Greece beauty, from Rome the discipline of statesmanship, and from Germany the world, the highest and most shining example of mankind'. Hitler also favoured the neo-classic style in architecture. His favourite architects (besides Albert Speer) were Paul Troost, Friedrich Gilly and Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the nineteenth century masters of Prussian Classicism. Their works were seen as the noblest expression of German art, rooted in classical antiquity. Speer’s architectural plans for a complete reshaping of Berlin were also based on Roman principles. For Hitler, 'art is not founded on time, but only on peoples'. This explains well why Arno Breker and Josef Thorak sculpted Ancient Greek figures as the perfection of the German race in their separate works. Great names of the past were useful to lend authority to the Nazi-regime and to give it the conception of eternity. The element of ‘time’ was dismissed, and in a timeless sphere the Nazis did not categorize art in terms of past, present and future. As Adolf Hitler stated: 'National-Socialist Germany, however, wants again a ‘German Art’, and this art shall and will be of eternal value, as are all truly creative values of people... Art as an expression of the essence of this being is an eternal monument'.

Hans Happ, postcard. 'Thetis', GDK 1941, room 15; depicted in the exhibition catalogue. Purchased by the Reichskanzlei for 10,000 RM. Size 275 x 185 cm. In the possession of the Deutsches Historisches Museum.

Left: Hans Happ, 'Frucht der Erde' ('Fruits of the earth'). GDK 1940, room 15; depicted in the exhibition catalogue. Bought by Joseph Goebbels for 7.000 Reichsmark. Depicted i.a. in 'Die Kunst im Deutschen Reich', 1940, and in 'Das Bild, Monatsschrift für das Deutsche Kunstschaffen in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart‘, September 1940.
Right: Hitler at the opening of the GDK 1940. Left from him: 'Frucht der Erde' by Happ.

'Frucht der Erde' by Hans Happ, depicted in the 'Völkische Beobachter, 28 July 1940.

Left: Hans Happ, ‘Raup der Proserpina’ (‘The rape of Proserpina’), 1943. Size: 200 x 170 cm. GDK 1943, room 15. Sold for 15.000 RM.
Right: Hans Happ, 'Die Lichtrträgerin’ (‘The Light Bearer’). GDK 1940, room 37.

Hans Happ, 'Entführung der Europa durch den Stier' ('The Abduction of Europe by Zeus in the form of a Bull'). Depicted on the cover of the magazin ‘Illustrierte Zeutung Leipzig’, 1944. Depicted in the official catalogue of the exhibition 'Kunst und Diktatur', Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna, 1994.


Left: Hans Happ, ‘Bildnis einer Jungen Frau mit Blume’ (‘Young woman with flower’). GDK 1942, room 26; depicted in the exhibition catalogue. Also depicted in the magazine 'Die Dame', October 1942, and in 'Die Kunst', 1942.
Right: 'Bildnis einer Jungen Frau mit Blume’ depicted in the Dutch newspaper 'Algemeen Handelsblad', 17 October 1942.

Hans Happ, 'Quell des Lebens' ('Source of Life'). GDK 1942 room15, bought by Robert Ley for 1.600 Reichsmark.

The opening of the GDK 1942. In the centre Joseph Goebbels, right from him director Kolb, left from him Gerdy Troost and on the far left Bavarian Prime Minster Siebert. At the back, right, 'Quell des Lebens', by Hans Happ. Photo: New York Public Library.

Left: Hans Happ, 'Lesende' ('Reading'). GDK 1938 room 26.
Right: Hans Happ, 'Lesende ', displayed in the International Pavilion of the World Exibition, 1937, Paris.

Hans Happ, 'Flora', created 1935. GDK 1937 room 25. Depicted in 'Das Bild', 1942.

Left: Hans Happ, 'Wasserschöpferin' ('Woman fetching Water'). Created in 1935. GDK 1941, room 26.
Right: Hans Happ, 'Diana', displayed at the exhibition 'Junge Kunst im Deutschen Reich', Wien, 1943 (organized by Reichsleiter Baldur von Schirach). Bought by minister Von Ribbentrop.

Hans Happ, ‘Verwundeter Krieger und Siegesgöttin‘ (‘Wounded Warrior and Goddess of Victory’). Displayed at the exhibition ‘Deutsche Künstler und die SS’, Breslau, 1944; depicted in the exhibition catalogue. The text left on the depiction reads: ‘Einen Beitrag zu klassischen Bildlösungen hat Hans Happ gefunden, in der Begegnung zwischen dem verwundeten Krieger und der ihm begleitenden Siegesgöttin, in der ihm seine Schutzgöttin als Vision erscheint‘ (‘Hans Happ delivered a classic contribution in the encountering of the Wounded Warrior with the Goddess of Victory, -in which he perceives a vision of the Goddes of Protection’).

Deutsche Künstler und die SS (‘German Artists and the SS‘)
‘Deutsche Künstler und die SS’ was an exhibition organized by the Reichsführer SS and the SS Supplementary Office of the Headquarter, held in the first quarter of 1944 in the Museum der Bildende Künste in Breslau. In total 589 works of art were displayed, of which 63 were depicted in the exhibition catalogue, published by Wilhelm Limpert Verlag in Berlin. The 72-pages catalogue had a prologue by SS Obergruppenführer Gottlob Berger and a prologue by Heinrich Himmler.

Three months later -from June to July 1944- the exhibition was held in the Alte Residenz in Salzburg  (Salzburg Residenz Palace); a separate catalog was issued with 20 depictions.

Hans Happ, around 1940. 

Hans Happ
Hans Happ (1889–1992) was born in Kempten; his parents came from Frankfurt. His father was Direktorpräsident of the German Railways and played in 1923 an important role in organising the passive resistance of the Ruhrkampf. As a child Happ painted mostly horses as he lived next to a post office where horses came in and went out the whole day. The horse theme can often be seen later back in his paintings. In 1917 Happ went into military service; he was taken as a prisoner of war in France and released in 1920. From 1920 to 1923 he studied drawing and painting at the Munich Art Academy with Professor Becker Gundahl, Professor Ludwig von Herterich and Max Doerner. He moved in 1926 to Ludwigshafen. From 1933 onwards Happ lived in Frankfurt am Main; he became teacher at the Frankfurt Art Academy ('Städelschule').
Happ was a painter and, after WWII, a design-weaver and designer of mechanical toys in the form of animals such as swans, birds and horses. His painting style was strongly influenced by the 17th century; he was inspired by the Old Masters from the Alte Pinakothek, a museum which he visited frequently in his student days. Happ painted mostly depictions of girls and/or mythological sceneries, at times with a somewhat melancholic accent.
Hans Happ's work 'Lesende' ('Reading') was displayed in the International Pavillion at the World Exibition 1937 in Paris; a year later the same painting was displayed at the Great German Art Exhibition. His breakthrough came with the work ‘Flora’, which was -also- displayed at the GDK 1937.
In 1934 and 1941 Happ was awarded the Kulturpreis of the City of Frankfurt. In 1942 he was represented with three works at the 'Frühjahrs Austellung' of the Preussische Akademie der Künste. In the same year the art magazine ‘Das Bild’ published a special about Happ, describing some of his works in possession of minister Goebbels, Von Ribbentrop and the New Chancellery. A year later he took (with 10 works) part in the exhibition 'Junge Kunst im Deutschen Reich' in Vienna, organized by Reichsleiter Baldur von Schirach.
From 1938 to 1944 Hans Happ was represented with 17 works in the Great German Art Exhibitions. Several of them depicted Greek or Roman themes, including 'Ausziehender Krieger', 'Thetis', 'Quell des Lebens', 'Raup der Proserpina' (sold for 15.000 Reichsmark) and 'Studie zur Odyssee'. Two of his works were bought by Hitler (‘Thetis’ was in the possession of the Reichskanzlei). Other buyers were: Joseph Goebbels (‘Ein Abendlied’ and ‘Früchte der Erde’), Von Ribbentrop (‘Diana‘), the Gauleitung Hessen-Nassau (‘Ausziehender Krieger‘) and Robert Ley (‘Quell des Lebens‘).
In 1944 Happ took part in the exhibition ‘Deutsche Künstler und die SS’ in Breslau and Salzburg. Of the 589 artworks, 63 were presented in a separate catalogue, including one of the works of Hans Happ.
At the end of World War II his house and atelier were bombed, and he went to the safer town of Schlitz. After the war Hans Happ gave weaving lessons in his atelier in Schlitz (‘Bildweberei’) and he concentrated on designing and making mechanical toys. Later he moved to Ottoburg, where he stayed until 1956, and then to Dreieich where he died.
In 2004 the ‘Hessische Puppenmuseum’ (museum for dolls) organized an exhibition for Happ called 'Snakes, Panther, Birds and Horses, mechanical toys from Hans Happ'.
The paintings of Hans Happ were hardly known in the last six decades, although several of them are magnificent. Deutsches Historisches Museum is in the possession 'Thetis' and 'Studie zur Odysee', both works bought by Hitler.