Watercolor Portrait Attributed To Adolf Hitler To Be Auctioned

Long before he was leader of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler was a struggling artist.

The New York Daily News is reporting that a 1912 watercolor of a blue pitcher with colorful flowers will be auctioned from the Nate D. Sellers Gallery, which is coordinating the auction. Bidding will start at $30,000.

The painting is considered unusual because most of Hitler’s paintings have landscapes and architecture as subjects.

The painting, approximately 13.5 inches by 10.75 inches in dimension, was completed by Hitler while he struggled as an artist while living in Vienna. Hitler originally applied for entry into the Vienna Academy of Art twice, failing both times. Hitler, who had relocated to Vienna at age 18, refused to give up on his art career.

While in Vienna, a jewish art dealer, Samuel Morgenstern, saw Hitler’s work and was impressed enough to purchase several of his pieces and then resell them to wealthy Viennese Jewish art patrons. However, Hitler, who moved to Vienna in 1908, decided in 1913 to give up on his dream and move back to Munich.

Hitler’s rise to power did not keep his former patron safe. Morgenstern had his property stripped from him and he was relocated to the Lodz Ghetto. Morgenstern died in 1943.

One other Hitler watercolor has sold at an auction. A watercolor landscape of Munich Hall sold for $161,000 in 2014.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the buyer of that watercolor was an unknown buyer from the Middle East.

The portrait is signed “A. Hitler” in the lower right corner of the painting and has the stamp of Samuel Morgenstern on the back of the portrait, thus verifying the authenticity of the portrait.

The Nate D. Sellers Gallery is not disclosing who currently is trying to sell the portrait, how the seller obtained it or any other provenance about the portrait, only saying the portrait is being consigned by a private seller.

The Sellers Gallery stated that the portrait is in “near-fine condition,” thus allowing the starting bid at $30,000. Two other items are being auctioned off at the same auction. One is a two-volume set of “Mein Kampf,” with both volumes signed by Hitler. The other is a change-of-address form filled out and signed by Hitler.

The auction also will feature memorabilia from movies, television, and history, ranging from previously worn costumes to documents to watches and other items.

The auction will be Thursday, March 26. The auction will be online, you can follow the link here.

[Image courtesy of The Guardian.]