Kartenspieler [Cardplayers]
© DACS 2006

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Kartenspieler [Cardplayers] 1920
This is an etched version of a painting Dix made in 1920. At this time he was painting in a satirical manner, and war-wounded soldiers feature in many of his works. Although the injuries of the men are exaggerated, injured soldiers would have been commonly seen in everyday life. Whilst shocking and repulsive, the depictions were based on fact. Dix was influenced by his own experiences of trench warfare and by photographs of horrific facial injuries published by the left-wing press to dispel myths about the glory of war. Dix’s black humour is evident in the grotesque appearances of the men and the way that their legs are indistinguishable from the furniture. Yet in spite of this the men are simply getting on with their lives as normally as they can.

Glossary Open


A form of printmaking in which a metal plate is covered with a substance called a 'ground', usually wax, into which an image is drawn with a needle. Acid is applied, eroding the areas of the plate exposed but not the areas covered by wax. The action of the acid creates lines in the metal plate that hold the ink from which a print is made when the plate is pressed against paper under pressure.


A decorative element comprising figures, animals, plants, mythological creatures and architectural elements which are often combined in bizarre configuration. Originating in ancient Rome, such details were revived in the Renaissance following the rediscovery of ancient murals.

Etching, Grotesque


  • Acc. No. GMA 2960
  • Medium Drypoint on paper (4/11)
  • Size 32.90 x 28.30 cm (paper 46.00 x 32.30 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1985