Fascist aesthetic in combat illustrations

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Fascist aesthetic in combat illustrations

Post by Cult Icon » 10 Oct 2019 18:32

I've been looking at Thomas Fischer's book "Soldiers of the Leibstandarte" and noticed that many different charcoal drawings of men in action were attached to official German award documents. These, along with many other wartime visuals by an array of artists portraying soldiers of the army and Waffen-SS tend to share a certain style. eg. square jawed men, serious faces, gritty, chaotic battlefields, men in movement, fearlessness,etc.

Examples: SS Sgt's Krause's work pertaining to soldiers of the LAH.

Image Image

Does anybody know of any paper/book/study about the philosophical/ideological meaning behind this artistic style?
There are some books about nazi aesthetics in general but I am more interested in the use in portraying ground soldiers.

eindhoven
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Re: Fascist aesthetic in combat illustrations

Post by eindhoven » 11 Oct 2019 15:55

Does anybody know of any paper/book/study about the philosophical/ideological meaning behind this artistic style?
I have not seen any serious academic study on the aesthetic used in illustration, graphic design, or photography however as an artist I've definitely noted the zeitgeist. They all tend to follow similar tropes or themes common to that period.

My interest started after observing a recurring style of photography. I had an example of documentation that outlined how soldiers were to be photographed. This showed correct camera angles, framing, and incorrect styles for photographers. There was also guidance for portrait photography where you see distinctive sitting styles. A popular portrait of the time period involves not looking at the camera but looking off to the left or right. Often, though not always, those who do look directly into the camera for a portrait have either an intense glare or some form of attempt to smolder going on. Looking through hundreds of portraits of individuals not looking at the camera, thereby not looking at you, becomes somewhat unsettling. Definitely leaves an impression on you.

Josef Sepp Lanier, indicative of the heroic portrait style of the time, an indifference to the viewer.
Josef Sepp Lanier Portraitfotos kopie.jpg
The graphic design of the time is of course also very much following coming out to the 20s deco era. This is likely the movement piece of illustration or design you've noticed as well as it's angular nature. Photography again follows these dictums in artistic style.

Movement to contact
Panzergrenadiere kopie.jpg


Angular illustrative style
0199.jpg
Art and photography mirroring one another
postkarte.jpg
Der-Landser-Grossband-Nr-1266-Hans-Henkenschuh-K-Kollatz.jpg
Good observation on your part.
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eindhoven
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Re: Fascist aesthetic in combat illustrations

Post by eindhoven » 11 Oct 2019 16:27

There is a small study by Dr. Nausikaä El-Mecky, prof. at Pompeu Fabra University (Department of Humanities) in Barcelona * Art Historian (PhD 2013 University of Cambridge) * She specializes in censorship and destruction of art from Antiquity until today. She published "Art in Nazi Germany" which discusses cultivation of Aryan art and it's aesthetics.

If your on Academia. edu you will find it there.

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