Hitler vs. Beckmann

Hitler vs. Beckmann














Hitler vs. Beckmann

Progressive artists such as Beckmann held the belief that progressivism in its various forms such as technology, science; social organization and economic development would enhance human living conditions. Beckmann was driven by the need to use innovation towards developing new artistic concepts. On the other hand, political leaders such as Hitler were driven by traditional values and ideologies to enhance the power and presence of the Aryan race in Europe. His works as a painter were focused on traditional values of Europe, thus he did not seek to adopt a progressive approach in developing his works (Clegg, 2006).

The progressive artists chose a conceptual means of portraying their works as a means of enhancing their messages to society. Beckmann’s Bird’s Hell was an allegory of the then Nazi Germany (Beckmann et al., 2003). It was based on the need to provoke the cruelty and inhumanity exercised by the socialist Nazi regime. Hitler on the other hand, was disinterested in developing artwork with people and focused on architecture and surroundings. The Courtyard of the Old Residency in Munich (1914) by Adolf is an example of some of his many works that focused on buildings as an admiration of Saxony architecture.

Adolf Hitler was driven by the need to protect Saxony heritage from the assumed ‘invasion’ by immigrants such as Jews (Spotts, 2003). In addition, his traditional approach of focusing on structures was also driven by his distaste for interactions with people. A progressive approach as assumed by Beckmann was effective in using symbolism towards conveying concepts of torture and inhumanity as exercised by the Nazi regime.  Both artists used their respective artworks as means of communicating to the population of their thoughts on society. Beckmann conveyed the concept of progressive whereas Hitler communicated his concept of traditional values with respect to the Aryan community.


Beckmann, M., Rainbird, S., Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.), Centre Georges Pompidou., & Tate Modern (Gallery). (2003). Max Beckmann. New York: Museum of Modern Art.

Clegg, E. (2006). Art, design, and architecture in Central Europe, 1890-1920. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Spotts, F. (2003). Hitler and the power of aesthetics. Woodstock: Overlook Press.










The Courtyard of the Old Residency in Munich (1914)














Bird’s Hell

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