von Stuck, Franz

Question:

I've heard about a painting by Franz von Stuck of the German god Wotan painted the year Hitler was born. The face of the god was Hitler's. Was this something that Hitler created himself? Or did it never happen at all? Thanks for your help,

Gordon McFee answers:

I am one of the volunteers who answers this kind of question.

Franz von Stuck was Hitler's favorite artist. Hitler liked very much many paintings by him. Among them were: "Sinnlichkeit" (Sensuality), "Verfolgung" (Pursuit), "Das Laster" (Depravity), "Das böse Gewissen" (Evil Conscience), "Die Sünde" (Sin) and "Die Sirene" (The Sirens).

The painting you are talking about is called "Die wilde Jagd" (The Wild Hunt) and the huntsman in the painting does indeed bear an uncanny resemblance to Hitler (the hair, mustache, face). But it was painted by von Stuck in 1889, the year of Hitler's birth. The huntsman is intended to portray Wotan.

For a more complete treatment, you can refer to Robert G.L. Waite, _The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler_, Da Capo Press, New York, 1993, pages 66-68. A copy of the painting faces page 161.

Hope this helps.

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Gord McFee

Gord McFee comments

Thanks to a correspondent, we have discovered that my translation of the painting Die wilde Jagd as "The Wild Hunt" is inaccurate. It is a proper rendering into English of the word Jagd, but I did not realize at the time I originally answered the question that there is another painting by von Stuck that is called "The Wild Hunt" in English. The proper title of Die wilde Jagd is "The Wild Chase", as the correspondent pointed out. My thanks to him.

The paintings are available on the web. Readers are invited to compare The Wild Chase and The Wild Hunt.

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