Nazi Ideology in Painting, Sculpture, Architecture Essay

September 9, 2022 by Essay Writer


Art is a unique phenomenon that goes along with human society and helps individuals to manifest their attitudes or perspectives on various significant events, ideas, approaches, discoveries, etc. Being a powerful tool, it has always been used to alter peoples minds and form a specific attitude to an aspect of society that is important at the moment. In this regard, art was often used by dictators, political regimes, or other authorities to make their position stronger and justify the right to govern people by emphasizing the great potential of the existing pattern of power distribution and underlining numerous achievements made during the period of their rule.

In this regard, any regime tries to gather support from artists and create a team of like-minded persons who would promote the existing government and alter peoples attitude to it. Therefore, totalitarian leaders also followed the same pattern. For instance, having an overwhelming power in Germany, Nazis still wanted to make their position stronger and alter peoples mentality for individuals not to have doubts about the legitimacy of the existing regime. Their attempts resulted in the creation of a unique style in art that was characterized by the influence of Nazi ideology. For this reason, all spheres and kinds of art were affected.


Painting obviously belonged to the sphere of the Nazis interests. It is important to realize the fact that this ideology was focused on the appeal to the selectness of the German race and its prevalence over other peoples (“Art in Nazi Germany” par. 7). Art was used to proclaiming this idea and make people believe it. Besides, painting of the Third Reich was characterized by the adherence to some peculiarities of Romantic realism that was based on classical models (Gabbut 6).

Moreover, Nazis considered modern styles degenerate and promoted traditional schools with special attention given to racial purity, militarism, obedience, traditional values, and simple virtues (Gabbut 6). For instance, Adolph Ziegler was among the favorite Hitlers painters whose pictures were able to satisfy the demands of existing ideology. Zieglers Girl with Two Fruit Baskets or his triptych The Four Elements could be considered good evidence to the above-mentioned statements.

In these pictures, the painter promotes purity and natural beauty (Keats par. 5). However, there are also a number of artworks that are centered around military plots and emphasize the power of the German nation and justify the territorial claims of the Third Reich. Altogether, the painting was an important sphere impacted by Nazis to alter peoples mentality.

The sculpture was another important aspect that could not but feels the influence of the Nazi ideology. Monumental possibilities of this kind of art suggested a number of ways to express theories of Nazism. The fact is that it helped to embody an ideal image of Aryan who belonged to the selected and dominant race. For this reason, it was given great attention. The nude male was the most common subject explored by sculptors. For instance, Arno Breker was considered an official sculptor whose monumental style contributed to the formation of the recognizable image of the Third Reich (“Nazi Art (1925-45)” par. 8).

In general, monumentalism became the most distinctive feature of Nazi art as it helped to demonstrate the greatness of claims and ideas appreciated by this regime. Moreover, there were no signs of imperfections or other traits peculiar to living beings. Sculpture of that period of time wanted to create an ideal that should be desired by the population of Reich. In this regard, the impact of ideology in the sphere of sculpture could hardly be overestimated as the new ideology demanded the creation of an ideal image of an ideal person who belonged to the German race.

Continuing the cogitations about the impact Nazi ideology had on the evolution of art, it is also important to mind architecture. Being closely related to sculpture, it followed the same patterns and regularities. Architects of that period of time tended to create great and magnificent buildings to copy the imperial style and underline ambitions of the government that wanted to prove its ascension to previous Reichs (“How did the Nazis control culture and leisure?” par. 6).

Furthermore, the usage of great forms and expensive materials was conditioned by several important purposes. It was considered a means of impressing masses and manipulating their consciousness. Being a mediocre artist who failed to succeed in the given sphere, Hitler interfered in the way this kind of art evolved and pushed artists to create monumental buildings in older neoclassical or art deco styles. (Trueman par. 6). For this reason, the given ideology impacted the evolution of this kind of art greatly. It preconditioned the spread of the imperial and neoclassical styles and the strangle of buildings erected according to the peculiarities of these approaches. For instance, The Dietrich-Eckart-Theater is a perfect example that proves the impact ideology had on the architecture of that era.

When speaking about art and the impact ideology had on it, it is also crucial to mention cinema that was a new but very influential tool. Trying to justify their dominant position, Nazis wanted to alter the attitude to their ideas and approaches. For this reason, the majority of movies created in the middle of the 20th century in Germany had great ideological meaning and significance. Hitler and the company recognized the unique role this kind of art played in the modern world and the perspectives related to its further evolution. In this regard, films depicted numerous successes both international and local. People were provided with information on how powerful and influential their state became due to the shift of priorities.

Moreover, the main characters of the majority of movies were depicted as ideal Aryan brave, courageous, fair, etc. The creation of the direct correlation between these positive features and bearers of Nazi ideology was one of the main tasks of the cinema of that period of time. Its availability to the majority of the population was the factor that preconditioned the great attention given to cinema. Nazis spent great amounts of money to support their rise. In this way, they also contributed to the further evolution of this kind of art.


In conclusion, ideology always has an overwhelming impact on society and its most important peculiarities. Being a powerful tool, art could not but also experience its influence. Nazis wanted to use it to assure that people would believe in the basic ideas and follow the leader without hesitation. In this regard, they introduced numerous changes to the most popular kinds of art. Painting, sculpture, architecture, and cinema became altered to serve the state machine and promote the regime. Due to the spread of the ideology and its unique power alterations in culture became especially significant and preconditioned the evolution of art in a certain way.

Works Cited

Art in Nazi Germany. Khan Academy, n.d. Web.

Gabbut, Lynne. “Nazi ideology and the visual arts, 1933-1945. ” UCLan Journal of Undergraduate Research, vol. 5, no.1, 2012, pp. 1-9. Web.

How did the Nazis control culture and leisure? The Holocaust Explained, n.d. Web.

Keats, Jonathon. “See The Kitschy Triptych That Hung Over Hitler’s Fireplace – And How It Impacted German Art – At This New York Exhibit.” Forbes. 2014. Web.

Nazi Art (1925-45). Visual Arts, n.d. Web.

Trueman, Cris. Art in Nazi Germany. The History Learning Site. 2016. Web.

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