|Villain, Hero, Artistic Argument|
Hitler: Make the painting big, make it simple, and eventually it becomes a cultural icon.
Churchill: Painting a picture is like trying to fight a battle.
Hitler: As for the degenerate artists, I forbid them to force their so-called experiences upon the public. If they do see fields blue, they are deranged, and should go to an asylum. If they only pretend to see them blue, they are criminals, and should go to prison. I will purge the nation of them.
Churchill: I cannot pretend to be impartial about the colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.
Hitler: Germany will either be a world power or will not be at all. The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it.
Churchill: At one side of the palette there is white, at the other black; and neither is ever used neat.
Hitler: I am an artist, not a politician. I want to end my life as an artist.
Churchill: When I die and go to heaven, I want to spend the first million years painting – so I can get to the bottom of the subject.
Hitler and Churchill.
One was a villain.
One was a hero.
Together they created the epic of a terrible war.
Some might argue that, just as police and criminals are opposite sides of the same coin, Hitler and Churchill had a lot in common (for a comparison and contrast of the two go here).
But looking at Hitler’s and Churchill’s pronouncements about art, it is clear that Hitler had a totalitarian view of art whereas Churchill, for all his forthright prose, approached art as a challenge in the arena of democracy.