[Image via Telegraph ]
Though they didn’t sell for much, the world paid attention when Richard Westwood-Brookes auction house put sketches by Hitler on the block. A lot of this has to do with folklore; many historians have speculated that Hitler’s rejection from art college helped shape his character in later years. There is a widely held (albeit unproved) belief that the professor who judged the sketches in Hitler’s file was Jewish.
George W. Bush
In February, a hacker named Guccifer leaked a series of paintings to The Smoking Gun by the former commander-in-chief, leading the thread to a cache of dozens more painting, including “over 50 dogs.” Most famous among the works was a self-portrait of President Bush in the shower.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, GCB, DSO, 1952. Oil on canvas, 49.5 x 59.5 cm
Possibly the most impressive showing among artists who also ran countries are the paintings of President Dwight Eisenhower. A lot of them are really, surprisingly good. This portrait, which hangs in Britain’s government art collection in London, depicts Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, an officer in the Eight Army who led the Allied victory in the Libyan Desert and Tunisia.
[Image via Carter Center]
In 2009, an auction to benefit the non-profit programs operating out of the Carter Center in Atlanta included this country scene, painted by the Nobel Prize winner. A self-portrait rendering of the Camp David Accords, in which Carter oversaw Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat shake hands, had been put up for sale in 2005.
[Image via soocang.com]
It’s hard to read the pain or personal angst that might supposedly come through in this portrait by Zhao Ji, also known as Emperor Huizong. An immensely talented painter and calligrapher, whose life in the late 11th and early 12th centuries was marked by an epicurean devotion to pleasure and art, Zhao Ji was the last emperor of the Song Empire. His departure from the throne was humiliating; deported to Manchuria for the last years of his life, he was demoted to the status of a commoner before he died, in exile. In 2002, the above painting sold for ¥25.3 million ($4.12 million) at a hotel in Beijing.