Hans Retzbach, Relief of the Führer, 35 kg

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Description

‘Der Führer’ (‘Relief of Adolf Hitler’)
Extremely rare, monumental size of 80 x 60 cm.
Weight 35 kilogram.
Taylor made (no mass production).

Reliefs and bust of Hitler designed by Retzbach, were produced by the Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik (WMF). Below a 1939 price list of the standard sizes (notice the maximum size of 45 x 60 cm).
On request larger sizes were also produced. Below for example also an invoice of the Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik, d.d. 20 January 1939, for a Hitler bust by Retzbach of 2,4 meter high.

WMF 1939-price list of the standard sizes of reliefs by Retzbach.
  

WMF price list, d.d. 20 January 1939, of the giant Hitler bust by Retzbach, height 2,4 meter.
  

Hans Retzbach working on the 2,4 meter high Hitler bust; photo’s were included in the 1939 WMF price list.   

– condition : III
– size : 80 x 60 cm, weight 35 kilogram
– signed : signed in the neck: ‘H. Retzbach’
– type : bronze

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BIOGRAPHY: HANS RETZBACH

Hans Retzbach, ‘Olympic column in marble and bronze’. Displayed in the ‘Begegnungshalle der Nation’ (Olympic Village). Double-stepped chamfered Olympic monument in white marble. The gold inscription ‘Olympische Spiele – ich rufe die Jugend der Welt – 1936’ reads: ‘Olympic Games – I call upon the youth of the world – 1936’. On top a Hans Retzbach signed bronze head of Adolf Hitler, -patron of the 1936 Games. Total height 43.5 cm. Sold by a German auction house in 2013.
  

Hans Retzbach, Porsche Denkmal. Memorial to Prof. Ferdinand Porsche, 1952. Located in the city of Kaufbeuren. Commissioned by the Porsche Werken Stuttgart.
  

Hans Retzbach, ‘Standing Nude’, bronze, height 65,5 cm. Signed ‘H. Retzbach 19’. Sold by Bonhams in 2010.
   

Hans Retzbach, ‘Relief of Saint Georg’, plaster. Sold by a European auction house in 2023. Size unknown.

Hans Retzbach, ‘Knight with Sword and Horse’, bronze, medal. Size 109 x 106 mm.

Hans Retzbach, ‘Coat of Arms of the City of Ludwigsburg’, plaster, template for a bronze relief. Created around 1928.
    

Hans Retzbach, ‘Warrior‘, bronze. Height 43 cm. Sold by a German auction house in 2013.

Hans Retzbach, ‘Fackelträger’ (‘Torchbearer‘), bronze. Height 82 cm. The building between the legs could be the planned extension of the Ordensburg Vogelsang, -the never realized ‘Haus des Wissens’.  

Reliefs and busts of Hitler designed by Retzbach, were produced by the Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik (WMF). Below a 1939 price list of the standard sizes (notice the maximum size of 45 x 60 cm).
On request larger sizes were also produced. Below for example also an invoice of the Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik, d.d. 20 January 1939, for a Hitler bust by Retzbach of 2,4 meter high.

WMF 1939-price list of the standard sizes of reliefs by Retzbach.
  

Fotos from WMF of a standard Retzbach bust.
  

WMF price list, d.d. 20 January 1939, of the giant Hitler bust by Retzbach, height 2,4 meter.
  

Hans Retzbach working on the 2,4 meter high Hitler bust; photo’s were included in the 1939 WMF price list.   

Left: Hans Retzbach, ‘Hermann Göring‘, 20 x 26 cm. Bronze. Sold by a German auction house in 2019.
Right: Hans Retzbach, ‘Adolf Hitler’, 10 x 13 cm. Bronze. Sold by a German auction house in 2017.
  

Left: Hans Retzbach, ‘Hermann Göring’, bronze. Total height 52 cm. Offered by a French auction house in 2010.
Right: Hans Retzbach, ‘Adolf Hitler’, bronze. Height 38 cm. Offered by an American auction house in 2023.  

Hans Retzbach, marble bust of Hitler. Total height 39 cm (photo: Dennis R. Porell, AllachPorcelain.com).  

Hans Retzbach, relief at the memorial to the Ellanger city-forester Franz Xaver Marz (1813 – 1886), created in 1910.

Hans Retzbach, Memorial to Eugen Bolz, 5th State President of Württemberg, member of the resistance to the Nazi regime. Located in the city of Ellwangen, revealed at 7 January 1951. The bust was (again) cast by the Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik. Because of repeated vandalism, the bust was replaced by a copy. The original bust is located in the City Hall (photo right).
  

Hans Retzbach in his atelier, dates unknown.
  

Hans Retzbach
Hans Retzbach (1887 – 1976), son of a stove-fitter, was a German sculptor. Born in the city of Ellwangen, he and his 9 brothers and sisters grew up in poor circumstances. He followed lessons in wood sculpting, and the local pastor gave him lessons in art-history. Later he studied Sculpting at the Stuttgarter Kunstakadamie and from 1920 to 1925 he was lecturer at the same Academy. During WWI, Retzbach served for four years in the Army. In 1918 he bought a house at the Priestergasse 19 in Ellwangen and he started to work as independent sculptor. Religious figures were initially his main objects.
In 1910 he created the relief at the memorial to the Ellanger city-forester Franz Xaver Marz (1813 – 1886), in 1928 the ‘Coat of Arms of the City of Ludwigsburg’.
Other works by Retzbach in Ellwangen are: the columns of the Marien-fountain, the fountain in the Priestergasse, the statue of Pater Philipp Jeningen at the Schönenberg and the statue of Judas Thaddäus in the Schönenbergstraße. Retzbach created several figures for the Mariä Himmelfahrt Church in Degerloch and figures for the cradle of the Basilica St. Vitus in Ellwangen. In 1934 he created the Coat of Arms of Württemberg, now in the possession of the Stuttgart Lapidarium (an open-air museum that offers insights into Stuttgart’s architectural and cultural history). In the same year he made the ‘Schönstatt Madonna’ relief at the Heilig-Kreuz-Kapelle near Waiblingen (stolen in 1980). In 1952 he completed the ‘Porsche Denkmal’, a memorial to Prof. Ferdinand Porsche, located in the city of Kaufbeuren, commissioned by the Porsche Werken Stuttgart. At the end of the 1950s he designed the bell of the Dom Sankt Eberhard in Stuttgart, in 1954 the ‘Grillo Memorial’ in the city of Gelsenkirchen.

During the Third Reich, Retzbach designed reliefs and busts of Hitler and Göring, of which the standard sizes were cast on a massive scale by the Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik (WMF). He also created taler made larger models, for example a bust of Hitler of 2,4 meter high (price in bronze: 8.560 Reichsmark). A photo of Retzbach working on this giant bust still exists.
For the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Retzbach created the ‘Olympic column in marble and bronze’, which was displayed in the ‘Begegnungshalle der Nation’ (Olympic Village). An inscription in gold reads: ‘Olympische Spiele – ich rufe die Jugend der Welt – 1936’ (‘Olympic Games – I call upon the youth of the world – 1936’). On top of the marble column Hans Retzbach placed a bronze head of Adolf Hitler, -patron of the 1936 Games. The sculpture was sold by a German auction house in 2013.

After the war, Retzbach created the ‘Memorial to Eugen Bolz’ (5th State President of Württemberg and member of the resistance to the Nazi regime). Located in the city of Ellwangen, revealed at 7 January 1951. The bust was cast by the Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik. Because of repeated vandalism, the bust was replaced by a copy. The original bust is located in the City Hall.
Hans Retzbach died in 1976 in Ellwangen.
The Landesmuseum Württemberg is in the possession of a medal created in 1943 by Retzbach, depicting Walther Pfeilsticker. A bronze bust of Hitler by Retzbach (height 30 cm) was displayed at the exhibition ‘Hitler und die Deutschen’, 2010/11, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin.