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Hermann Gradl, Maria Wörth am Wörthersee

Hermann Gradl, Maria Wörth am Wörthersee Hermann Gradl, Maria Wörth am Wörthersee Hermann Gradl, Maria Wörth am Wörthersee

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Price:€ 9000.00

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'Blick auf Maria Wörth am Wörthersee' ('View on Maria Wörth at Wörthersee')


Left: 'Wörthersee' by Hermann Gradl, in the possession of 'Museum Kulturspeicher' in Würzburg (Gradl often painted the same scenes).
Right: Maria Wörth at Wöhrthersee, photo 2014.  
  

‘Wörthersee’ by Gradl, displayed at the exhibition ‘Tradition und Propaganda’, Kulturspiecher Würzburg, 2013. Depicted in the ‘Main Post’, 5 April 2013 (incorrectly described as 'Tegernsee').


 

- condition : II                    
- size : 107 x 88 cm, unframed 90 x 70 cm
- signed : right under (nr. 1612)
- type : oil on canvas                                          
- misc. : professional cleaned; frame restored

 








Hermann Gradl was represented in the Great German Art Exhibitions with 40 works, all landscapes. Goebbels bought five of his works and Adolf Hitler bought 15 of the paintings for prices of up to 25,000 Reichsmark.
Five works by Gradl were part of the art collection of Hermann Göring and destinated for the 'Norddeutsche Gallery'. In Eva Braun’s will, drawn up on October 26, 1944, we see that she also possessed paintings from Hermann Gradl.


Hermann Gradl, 'Mainlandschaft'. GDK 1942. Bought by Hitler for 25.000 RM (in the possession of Deutsches Historisches Museum). Size 223 x 164 cm. 



Left: Hermann Gradl, postcard, 'Ornbau-Altmühltal', GDK 1944, room 26. Bought by Hitler for 15.000 (for the Neue Reichskanzlei in Berlin). In the possession of the Deutsches Historisches Museum. Size 125 x 97 cm.
Right: Hermann Gradl, 'Marktheidenfeld'.  
  


Left: Hermann Gradl, postcard, 'Rothenfels am Main'.
Right: Hermann Gradl, postcard, 'Sommer am Bodensee'. 
  


Hermann Gradl, ‘Schwarzwald’, GDK 1937 room 18; depicted in the exhibition catalogue. Also depicted in ‘Hermann Gradl, -Der Schöne deutsche Süden‘, 1936.


'Schwarzwald' by Gradl: 'set the direction of German Art'

The illustrated report below on the ‘Great German Art Exhibition’ appeared in the July 22, 1937, of the Berliner llustrirte Zeitung. As the title suggests, the featured works, all of which were included in the exhibition, were supposed to ‘set the direction of German art.’ Each illustration is accompanied by a caption praising it according to Nationalist Socialist aesthetic and philosophical criteria.



Hermann Gradl, 'Sulzfeld am Main', art print. Depicted in 'Hermann Gradl, -Der schöne deutsche Süden', 1936.




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.



Hermann Gradl, ‘Homburg am Main’ (‘Homburg at the Main‘). GDK 1944 room 26. Size 125 x 96. Bought by Hitler for 15.000 Reichsmark. In the possession of the Deutsches Historisches Museum.



Left: Hermann Gradl, ‘Fränkisches Dorf’ (‘Village in Franconia‘). GDK 1942 room 17. Size 125 x 96. Bought by Hitler for 10.000 Reichsmark. In the possession of the Deutsches Historisches Museum.
Right: Hermann Gradl, ‘Bodensee‘ (‘Lake Constance’). GDK 1937 room 25. At the backsite a sticker with the text: ‘Dienstgebäude Reichskanzlei, Berchtesgaden’. In the possession of the Deutsches Historisches Museum.
 


Hermann Gradl, ‘Taunustal’ (‘Taunus Valley‘). GDK 1944 room 26. Size 125 x 96. Bought by Hitler for 15.000 Reichsmark. In the possession of the Deutsches Historisches Museum.





Gradl paintings for the Reich Chancellery
Hermann Gradl was commisioned by Adolf Hitler to paint six Monumental-paintings for the huge dining room of the Neuen Reichskanzlei in Berlin: 'Hochgebirge', 'Bächlein', 'Seelandschaft', 'Flaches Land', 'Mittelgebrige' and 'Flusslandschaft'; these six works are depicted in 'Die Kunst im Dritten Reich', 1939. 
In the GDK 1939 room 15, two works were displayed named: 'Seelandschaft' and 'Flusslandschaft'. The two works look almost the same as the monumental works Gradl created for the Neue Reichskanzlei ('für die speisesaal des erweiterungsbaues der Neuen Reichskanzlei in Berlin geschaffen').

Hermann Gradl, art print, 'Flusslandschaft' ('River landscape'). Monumental painting destinated for the huge dining room of the Neuen Reichskanzlei in Berlin ('für die speisesaal des erweiterungsbaues der Neuen Reichskanzlei in Berlin geschaffen').



Hermann Gradl, art print, ‘Seelandschaft’ (‘Lake landscape’). Monumental painting destinated for the huge dining room of the Neuen Reichskanzlei in Berlin ('für die speisesaal des erweiterungsbaues der Neuen Reichskanzlei in Berlin geschaffen').
  


Adolf Hitler visiting the Grosse Deutsche Kunstausstellung 1938. Next to Hitler, Prof. Karl Kolb, director of the Haus der Deutschen Kunst, Adolf Ziegler, president of the Reichskammer of the visual arts and Heinrich Himmler. At the background ‘Meinlandschaft’ by Hermann Gradl (bought for 15.000 Reichsmark by Hitler).



Hermann Gradl, 'Altmühlbrücke bei Kinding' ('Altmühl-bridge near Kinding'). Art print. Depicted in 'Hermann Gradl, -Deutsche Landschaftsbilder', 1951.


Hermann Gradl, 'Mainlandschaft bei Karlstadt'. Art print. Depicted in 'Hermann Gradl, -Deutsche Landschaftsbilder', 1951.




Hermann Göring Collection
Hermann Görings entire art collection comprised some 4,263 paintings, sculptures and tapestries. He planned to display them in the ‘Norddeutsche Galerie’, an art gallery which should be created after the war. The Norddeutsche Gallery was to be erected as an annex to Karinhall in the big forest of the Schorfheide, near Berlin. According to the website of the German Historical Museum, 5 works by Gradl were part of the collection. Göring bought two works in 1941 directly from the artist. One painting was a gift from the City of Fürth, and the other two were given by the Gauleiters of Danzig-West Prussia and Cologne.



Left: Hermann Gradl, photo depicted on the newsite of the Main Echo, 14 February 2014.
Right: 'Leader of the Academy Hermann Gradl, -Class of Landscape Painting', by Georg Vogt. Vogt also created an oil portrait of Hermann Gradl, which hung in the GDK 1942 room 26. 
  






Hermann Gradl: Hitler's favourite landscape painter
'I will destroy the Bolshevik Art. You can trust my words in this Professor Gradl' (Adolf Hitler).
Hermann Gradl (1883–1964), born in Marktheidenfeld as the sun of a lawyer, was a German painter and illustrator. In 1902 he went to the Münchner Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts) where he studied Textile-design under Theodor Spiess. From 1926 onwards he taught at the Kunstgewerbeschule Nürnberg on the subject of weaving and ceramics. Like Hitler, he was not accepted at the Academy of Art. In the field of painting he was more or less an autodidact. With his first paintings he participated successfully at the exhibition of the Münchner Glaspalast in 1913/14. His success grew and a few years later he already belonged to the circle of popular new artists. With his romantic painting style his great breakthrough came when the National Socialists, who very much liked the Naturalists of the 19th century, came to power. They saw in Naturalism: 'the typical appearance of the German Land, in its intertwining of Nature and Culture and its many different guises as Motherland of the German Nation'.
In 1934 Hermann Gradl became a member of the National Socialistic teachers' organization (NSLB); in 1939 he was installed as Director of the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in der Stadt der Reichsparteitage Nürnberg. In 1941 he entered the NSDAP. In 1937 Adolf Hitler visited Gradl in his atelier very enthusiastic about the artist’s work. Hitler stated: 'I will destroy the Bolshevik Art. You can trust my words in this Professor Gradl'. Later Hitler said several times at public occasions that Gradl was his favourite landscape painter, which inspired many highly positioned Nazi officers, among them Speer and Goebbels, to buy the paintings from Gradl. Hitler, who classified Gradl also as one of the 12 most important artists of the Third Reich (the Gotbegnadeten List), gave Gradl the order to paint six Monumental-paintings for the huge dining room of the Neuen Reichskanzlei in Berlin: 'Hochgebirge', 'Bächlein', 'Seelandschaft', 'Flaches Land' , 'Mittelgebrige' and 'Flusslandschaft'. Gradl received for the idyllic landscapes, which hung in the dining room that was 48 metres long, 5 metres high and 10 metres wide, a sum of 120.000 Reichsmark, the equivalent of 100 Volkswagens.
In the GDK's Gradl was represented with 40 works. Hitler bought 15 of his paintings and Joseph Goebbels 5, for prices of up to 25.000 RM. Four works by Gradl were displayed at the XXI Venice Biennale, 1938.
Five works by Gradl were part of the art collection of Hermann Göring and destinated for the 'Norddeutsche Gallery'. In Eva Braun’s will, drawn up on October 26, 1944, we see that she also possessed paintings from Hermann Gradl.
After WWII, Gradl was during the Denazification classified as ‘Mitläufer’. In 1946 his Honorary Citizenship was reconformed by his birthtown Stadt Marktheidenfeld. In 1955, at the celebration of the 1100-year anniversary of Stadt Marktheidenfeld, an extensive Hermann Gradl exhibition was held in the former Bezirksamtgebäude, the birthhouse of Gradl.
Hermann Gradl died in 1964 in Nürnberg. He bequeathed his paintings collection to the city of Marktheidenfeld. After 1964 the Kulturzentrum Franck-Haus in Marktheidenfeld set up a Hermann Gradl-documentation centrum; since 2000 the Kulturzentrum houses a permanent exhibition about Gradl.
In 1983 at the occasion of his 100st birthday, his birthtown organized the exhibition ‘Hermann Gradl, -Marktheidenfeld seine Heimatstadt‘.