Most people don’t know that Hitler was a painter. That’s because his artistic side is overshadowed by his ruthless dictatorship—and rightfully so.
But just because he was an artist doesn’t necessarily mean that he was a good artist. In fact, art critic Vittorio Sgarbi has gone as far as to describe one of Hitler’s paintings as a “piece of s***.”
“It’s a piece of s*** aesthetically,” Sgarbi said in an interview with Italian news outlet ANSA. “[It] says a lot about his psyche: there is no grandeur here, only misery.”
The painting he is referring to depicts two grave looking men dressed in black garb. The figures appear empty, as if they are devoid of all emotion. A long, dark corridor extends beyond them. The low contrast lends itself to an atmosphere of gloom.
“It’s not the work of a dictator, but that of a wretch,” Sgarbi added.
The painting is one of more than 200 works featured at the “Museum of Madness,” an exhibit curated by Sgarbi himself. The exhibit is located at the Museo Di Salo in Northern Italy.
But regardless of its artistic quality, it’s an important part of history, especially since it’s the first time that this specific painting has been on public display. A private German art collector temporarily loaned it to the museum in the hopes of contributing to the exhibit’s theme of “political madness.” This particular theme is highly relevant in a time like today when there is a great amount of political tension happening in the world.
Other notable pieces include works by the late British painter Francis Bacon and the Spanish romantic artist Francisco Goya. The exhibit will only be available until November 19. It is a rare, unique opportunity to catch a glimpse into the minds of some of history’s most powerful figures, so those who can go definitely should.