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Topic: Wilhelm Furtwängler portrait.  (Read 989 times)
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Jolyon
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« on: June 04, 2009 02:58:55 AM »

I designed this piece as a break from Revision for my history of German music (as well as some other aspects of German culture) exam.  The Portrait is of Wilhelm Furtwängler as an older man.  It is the first portrait I have attempted to do.  I purposefully depicted him in the colours of the German flag.
Some brief background:
Furtwängler was unhappy enough to remain in Germany during the Nazi occupation. 
Furtwängler tried to resist the regime and protect the tradition of German music. He wrote open letters of complaint to Goebbels over the treatment of Jewish performers. He never joined the Nazi party and always maintained that there was no such thing as degenerate music.
After the war, Furtwängler was branded as a Nazi. This accusation that was later revoked, but Furtwängler suffered greatly for it.
I, personally, believe that Furtwängler did all in his power (considering the pressures of such a regime) to avoid Nazi elements and whilst supporting German music. The Nazis under their regime returned the German flag to the imperial colours red, white and black because I see Furtwängler as not part of their regime I portrayed him in the colours of the Weimar and modern day German flag.
framed (it needs a good pressing!)

Closer up (strange marks are caused by the reflections on the glass)

I hope the piece is of interest.
I understand the Nazis and their actions are a serious subject and are surrounded by understandably strong views.  So I hope I have not offended anyone.

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BhamBaby
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009 03:36:57 AM »

Lovely needlework.

I had never heard of this man so the back story was interesting. Thanks for sharing that.

For the record, I was not offended.
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009 06:01:18 AM »

This is beautiful!  I'm always jealous of anybody with the patience to do fill embroidery Wink
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009 08:43:35 AM »

Great work and thank you so much for the background on the piece and the person.
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nataluna
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2009 09:49:39 AM »

i never heard of this guy before, and having Jewish and also German ancestors (on separate sides of the family), i am always curious to learn about non-Nazi Germans of that time.  [a friend's mother's family was another example of resistance, at least they taught their kids (including my friend's mother) against Nazism.]  
so i find the story very interesting and good to know.

also your embroidery has an original look.  and i think some of the passionate ideas and the suffering that you mentioned shows up in his eyes; i am going to assume that was intentional.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009 09:50:42 AM by nataluna » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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JenGoPop
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009 11:00:44 AM »

Really good portrait and interesting story. 

I saw an art exhibit years ago on "Degenerate Art of Nazi Germany" -- paintings by German artists that were held up for scorn and ridicule by the Nazis.  Wasn't too familiar about the music side of that though.
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2009 04:45:08 PM »

Amazing work!  Thanks for the history lesson.  Very interesting. 
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Jolyon
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2009 03:13:02 PM »

Thank you all for the kind comments and responses. 
Nataluna: I find too find people who managed to speak out against the regime very interesting.  Your friend's family must have been very brave people.
Jengopop: It is shocking how much censorship occurred.  There was a similar exhibition held for 'degenerate music' it was not as well publicised because the organiser had fallen out with Goebbels.  It must have been a terrible time for unique creativity.
Thanks again.
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RachelKristin
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2009 05:12:41 PM »

Great piece
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nataluna
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2009 05:37:06 PM »

Nataluna: I find too find people who managed to speak out against the regime very interesting.  Your friend's family must have been very brave people.

they were and so was their daughter.  my friend has written a young-adult book in english of her mother's true account of how she (as a teenager) led the younger children on a sort of march to safety from one area of the country to another, in the snow and everything... i don't remember all the details... anyway she's trying to get it published.

sorry for departing from the topic...
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