What is the greatest miracle of creation?
Man in his most perfect and ideal form.
There is no greater subject which would be more worthwhile to use as a standard.
Man is the crowning achievement of creation! To form man ever anew, to recreate creation, is as old as mankind itself: The unity of spirit and form achieved a new image of mankind in the art of antiquity. The works of the sculptors of that time still today hold us in their spell.
The heights and depths of this century have not been able to divert me from remaining true to the perfect, the ideal. I strive always for the highest form of perfection in sculpture.
The variety of creation among human beings is infinite. Beauty of form, harmony of soul, spirit, and body is found not only in Europe; it exists on all continents.
The images of man which I create are not idealized. They embody ideals and characteristics which are worthy for all men: human dignity, peace, respect, friendship, tolerance, and freedom.
Jean Cocteau—my artist friend since our early days—let himself be guided throughout his full life by the principle:
"I love to love.
I hate hatred.”
With all my heart I agree with that, and I have never lost faith in the good. This is a source of strength for my work.
Once Cocteau said to me: “Your work contains the fire of the image of man—like the Phoenix … “
I believe in this light. It will not be extinguished.
Arno Breker, 1980
The central motif of my work was always the human being, man or woman. The ever-varying forms of appearance gave rise to no boredom.
I see the human being at the zenith of his appearance, the young man as well as his equal, the maiden. Evolution theories of science have never meant much to me. One cannot go from ape to human.
Moses unmistakably expressed this in the first chapter of Genesis in eternally valid words. The shaping of the human being is the work of the Almighty. Like granite blocks the words stand, “And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him and created her, a man and a woman.” So says the 27th verse. And in the 31st verse it says in conclusion, “And God looked at what He had made and saw that it was good.”
No decadent influences have moved me to modify the human image, to falsify or even to destroy it. This conviction is an absolutely personal, private concern. It has been shaken by nothing; it will be shaken by nothing. It remains completely immaterial to me if I run counter to the spirit of the times with my convictions.
At the moment people are talking about a new realism. One approaches the forms of appearance, but in a way that is extremely questionable. Three years ago in Middelheim Park near Antwerp I saw a collection of sculptures that had become famous in the meantime: an example of realism. The most extensive innovation came from two artists. They had molded pure plaster casts from nature, probably not with their own hands, but by a plaster caster, for it requires a special skill to achieve good result. This case unmercifully reveals the mistake!
An artwork of renown only begins with the spiritualization of matter—a no doubt divinely inspired process; the spiritualization presumes an artistic talent in those who do it. This process signifies the creation’s Song of Songs.
Konstantin Vasilyev “Stalingrad”
This is not a painting of a Third Reich artist, but a painting of an artist who was born on Third Reich soil. The work of Russian artist Konstantin Vasilyev certainly is unique; it is all steeped in Germanic and Slavic pagan symbolism and an overt sympathy for the Third Reich. It is hardly imaginable that Vasilyev created his works, living in the Soviet Union.
In this rare painting we see a German soldier who died heroically in the fierce battle of Stalingrad. He is covered in the snow of the grim Russian winter of 1943. An eagle with spread wings is flying above him – a symbol of a free German Reich.