Amidst the horrors of war, artists from all nations were engaged by the governments to capture the essence of the experience, sometimes for reasons of propaganda and other times to preserve moments in history. Photographers capture perfectly the visual impression of a scene, yet often their work can be lacking in emotional content. Artists, conversely, do not generally capture the accuracy of the visual scene, but can amplify the emotional content in ways that camera’s can never achieve.
We tend to forget about the artists of the enemy, whose work is often lost to history. Yet deeply buried within the archives of the US Department of Defense are images of a handful of Luftwaffe artists who work spans the period of World War II. To our knowledge, these have never been published before — until now at Historic Wings Magazine.
The subjects of these Luftwaffe artists are often the machines of war — fighters and bombers — but also give poignant reminder of the human dimensions of the conflict. All of these Luftwaffe artists used sketch books, drawing in charcoal on paper. Many of the works were done quickly, some seem to be drawn as preparation for possible oil paintings. All of the artworks are impressive and interesting.