Here’s Why Hitler Was Rejected From Art School
There’s an unusual question in the pages of history: If you could travel back in time, would Hitler’s acceptance of an art school change the course of history? Although he has a bad reputation as a dictator, few people know that Hitler wanted to be an artist in his youth. Let’s dive into his attempts to pursue art and how his rejection shaped the fate of the world.
Hitler’s Artistic Aspirations
In the early 1900s, the young Hitler, who had failed high school, believed in his artistic talent. He applied twice to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in the hope of perfecting his skills. Shockingly, despite an acceptance rate of 75% in 1907, he was among 28 rejected applicants. This rejection played a role in steering Hitler away from art and down a darker path.
Judgment of the Academy of Arts
Although the exact reason for Hitler’s rejection remains unknown, records show that the Academy rated his drawings as “unsatisfactory.” The drawing tests focused on religious scenes, but Hitler showed little interest in the human form. Reviewers commented that his work had “too few heads”, an unusual but apt observation. Critics have described his art as lacking rhythm, color and spiritual imagination.
Hitler’s precision in rendering buildings even prompted one instructor to suggest a career in architecture. However, this required him to return to high school, an option he rejected due to his aversion to math classes.
Life after Refusal
Homeless and unable to pay the rent, Hitler found himself in a shelter, resorting to creating kitsch art to survive. Painting scenes from Vienna, often copied from postcards, he sold these pictures to tourists and frame makers. At that time, he encountered anti-Semitic rhetoric that later fueled his political career.
Joining the German army, Hitler moved into politics, setting the stage for his infamous role in history. Even as a leader, he harbored resentment towards modern art, publicly denouncing it as “degenerate” work associated with Jews and Bolsheviks.
Hitler’s Artistic Legacy
Hitler’s disdain for modern art led to a touring exhibition in 1937 that displayed hundreds of works he considered inferior. Ironically, the exhibition became one of the most visited art events in Germany. Despite his failed artistic endeavors, Hitler produced around 2,000 paintings during his lifetime. Today, some of these images, which have survived and sold for millions, serve as a chilling reminder of a part of history that we cannot forget.