'Piece of Shit' Hitler Painting to Join Italian Exhibition on Art and Madness

Oil painting by Nazi dictator to feature in northern Italy among works by other painters 'racked by torment.'

A copy of a painting attributed to Adolf Hitler and unconnected to the exhibition in Italy, is seen in Birtley, Shropshire, western England April 15, 2009.
REUTERS/Stephen Hird

An exhibition about art and madness in northern Italy will feature a painting by Adolf Hitler, despite the late German dictator's work being far from a masterpiece, organizers said Friday.

"In art history... there have been many artists whose minds were racked by torment, who expressed themselves in a visionary and hallucinated language," said notoriously foul-mouthed art critic and TV personality Vittorio Sgarbi, who curated the exhibition titled "Museum of Madness."

Sgarbi told Italian news agency ANSA that Hitler's small oil painting, which is on loan by a private German collector and has never been exhibited before, "is a piece of shit artistically speaking" but that it "says a a lot about his psyche: There is no grandeur here, only misery."

The painting by Hitler, who turned to politics after being rejected by a fine arts academy in Vienna, will appear next to artworks by the likes of 18th-century Spanish master Francisco Goyaby, U.S. graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and British painter Francis Bacon, as well as several Italian artists.

The show opens on Saturday and runs through November 19 at the Museo di Salo (MUSA).

MUSA is located in the Lombardy town of Salo, where Italian dictator Benito Mussolini set up a Nazi-backed puppet state for two years during World War II.