Hitler's art: Painting by future Fuehrer for sale

Hitler's Painting to Go Up for Sale


BERLIN (AP) - A 100-year-old watercolor of Munich's old city hall is expected to fetch at least 50,000 euros ($60,000) at auction this weekend, not so much for its artistic value as for the signature in the bottom left corner: A. Hitler.

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Hitler painting (The Old City Hall and others)
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Hitler's art: Painting by future Fuehrer for sale
TEHRAN, IRAN - JULY 5: A detail from one of the two water-color paintings found in the cellar of an Iranian semi-public foundation and attributed to Adolf Hitler. The two small works of art, presented to the press in Tehran 05 July 1999, were painted in Vienna in 1911 or 1912 when the future head of the Nazi regime, in his 20s at the time, was seeking an artistic career. The complete painting shows a street in the old quarter of Vienna with people dressed in 18th and 19th century clothes. (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
TEHRAN, IRAN - JULY 5: One of the two water-color paintings found in the cellar of an Iranian semi-public foundation and attributed to Adolf Hitler was revealed to the press in Tehran, 05 July 1999. The two small works of art were painted in Vienna in 1911 or 1912 when the future head of the Nazi regime, in his 20s at the time, was seeking an artistic career. This painting shows a street in the old quarter of Vienna with people dressed in 18th and 19th century clothes. (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
Watercolor of Old Vienna, Austria by Adolf Hitler whose signature is in the corner, shows overall of Hero's Bridge and Karl's Church. It was auctioned on Jan. 1,1988 for $36,000. in Louisville, Ky. (Photo by Todd Buchanan/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Corner of watercolor painted by Adolf Hitler before his political career; has his signature on lower left hand corner. The watercolor auctioned for $36, 000 on Jan. 1, 1988. (Photo by Todd Buchanan/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
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Nuremberg's Weidler auction house says the painting is one some 2,000 painted by Adolf Hitler and is thought to be from about 1914, when he was struggling to make a living as an artist, almost two decades before rising to power as the Nazi dictator.

It has drawn interest from around the world, with most viewing it as a curiosity or as an investment, said auction house director Kathrin Weidler.

It's being sold by a pair of elderly sisters, whose grandfather purchased the painting in 1916.

Though Hitler's paintings surface fairly regularly, Weidler said this 28x22 cm (11x8.5 inch) scene, unimaginatively called "The Old City Hall," also includes the original bill of sale and a signed letter from Hitler's adjutant, Albert Bormann, brother of Hitler's private secretary Martin Bormann.

From the text of the undated Bormann letter, it appears the Nazi-era owner sent a photo of the painting to Hitler's office asking about its provenance.

Bormann wrote back that it appears to be "one of the works of the Fuehrer."

The starting price is 4,500 euros, and Weidler, whose auction house has sold several Hitlers over the past decade, said she expects it will go for 50,000 - but wouldn't be surprised if sold for double that.

If it does, however, it will be because of the name in the corner alone, she said.

"It's perfectly well done, but I'd rate its artistic value as fairly minimal."

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