On Jan 9, 2022, a meme was shared to the r/HolUp subreddit on Reddit that showed a watercolor painting of a townhouse and village scene at either sunrise or sunset. “Pretty good painting, right?,” it read. “You just enjoyed one of Adolf Hitler’s artworks.”
It’s true that the meme showed artwork created by Hitler.
On Sept. 27, 2010, the Telegraph reported that the watercolor creation in the meme and several others “were all painted around 1908,” back when he was “simply known as a struggling artist.” At the time, it was believed that they could “fetch more than £150,000” at auction. Other reports included a higher figure: £175,000. In late 2010, that converted to between $237,000 and $276,500 USD.
Paul Fraser Collectibles published that while some of the other artwork in the auction collection did date back to 1908, the townhouse scene in particular showed a date of 1910.
The Daily Edge also reported on the art auction in September 2010 and mentioned that Hitler was twice denied admission into an arts college:
A selection of watercolour paintings by a little-known 19-year-old Austrian artist called Adolf Hitler are expected to fetch up to €175,000 when they go under the hammer later this month.
The 17 paintings, dating from 1908 when Hitler was a struggling bohemian in Vienna who had twice been refused entry into the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, are being auctioned at the end of the month in Shropshire, having been discovered by a lawyer who bought the rural estate of a north Austrian farmer only to discover the paintings in the house’s cupboards.
It is said that Hitler had lived off an orphan’s allowance while painting the streetscapes in Austria, which he would offer to paint on demand for tourists in an attempt to raise some cash.
We were unable to find any information on what the townhouse scene or the other pieces eventually sold for.
In sum, it’s true that the “pretty good painting, right?” meme that ends with, “you just enjoyed one of Adolf Hitler’s artworks,” was telling the truth.
Sources:ChainRegular6258. “Uhh.” R/HolUp, 9 Jan. 2022, www.reddit.com/r/HolUp/comments/s0b57a/uhh/.“Good Painting.” FunnyJunk.com, 2013, https://funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/4458265/Good+painting/.“Hitler’s Paintings to Go for Auction in Shropshire.” Shropshire Star, 23 Sept. 2010, https://www.shropshirestar.com/pictures/2010/09/23/hitlers-paintings-to-go-for-auction-in-shropshire/.Hough, Andrew. “Rare Adolf Hitler Paintings Could Fetch £150,000 at Auction.” The Telegraph, 27 Sept. 2010, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/8025960/Rare-Adolf-Hitler-paintings-could-fetch-150000-at-auction.html.“Recently Discovered Hitler Artworks Could Bring £150,000 at UK Auction.” Paul Fraser Collectibles, 27 Sept. 2010, https://www.paulfrasercollectibles.com/blogs/art-photography/recently-discovered-hitler-artworks-could-bring-150-000-at-uk-auction.Reilly, Gavan. “Paintings by 19-Year-Old Hitler up for Auction.” The Daily Edge, 28 Sept. 2010, https://www.dailyedge.ie/paintings-by-19-year-old-hitler-up-for-auction-29190-Sep2010/.“You Just Enjoyed One of Hitler’s Artworks.” KnowYourMeme.com, 18 May 2017, https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/you-just-enjoyed-one-of-hitlers-artworks.