To draw a hostile war lord as a horrible monster is to play his game. What he doesn't like is being shown as a silly ass.Low was second to none at depicting tyrants as silly asses:
Low was so effective at getting under Hitler's skin that prior to WW II, the Nazi government lodged a formal protest about Low's drawings.
Despite Low's rule about not dignifying tyrants by drawing them as "horrible monsters," sometimes he couldn't resist giving a tyrant the full "monster" treatment. When the war became too horrifying, his outrage overcame his resolution:
Yet, Low never lost artistic control. He recognized that to make the most powerful statement he could not abandon restraint; a picture overcome by passion and emotion is usually less potent.
Look how thoughtfully Low constructed the wonderful drawing above. To draw the worst creature imaginable, many artists might get carried away and make Hitler a literal monster with blood and fangs and claws. But with consummate skill, Low transforms Hitler into a beast primarily by giving him a stooped, ape-like posture.
|Keen powers of observation at work: Low didn't need to resort to fur or tentacles to make a monster; all it took was splayed legs, hunched shoulders, dangling arms and effective shadows.|
Similarly, look at how simply yet carefully Low evokes those victims in the cattle car. They are a sea of humanity, yet each sufferer has individual character.
The more extreme an artist decides to treat a subject, the more talent is required to keep the drawing from going off the rails.
As Peter Viereck reminded us, "Art, being bartender, is never drunk."