Otto Dix

German (1891 - 1969)
Otto Dix Mädchen auf Fell [Nude Girl on a Fur] 1932 © DACS 2017.


Born 1891
Died 1969
Nationality German
Birth place Untermhaus
Death place Singen

The German artist, Otto Dix, began his career painting in an expressionist style. The experience of fighting in the First World War profoundly affected him and he subsequently produced controversial works depicting the horrors of trench warfare in a minutely detailed and realist style. He became one of the leading artists of the 'Neue Sachlichkeit' (New Objectivity) school. His work was highly critical of the Weimar Republic and extremely satirical, showing the decay of contemporary society. When the Nazis came to power, his paintings were denounced as degenerate. He was sacked from his teaching post at Dresden Academy and forced to paint only inoffensive landscapes. After the Second World War, his subjects were mainly religious or of post-war suffering.

Glossary terms

  • Or Entartete Kunst. Term coined in the 1930s by the Nazis in Germany to ridicule modern art that didn't fit with Hitler's vision. Exhibitions of such works confiscated from German museums were staged and German artists branded with the term were banned from exhibiting their work.

  • A style that made an impact in the arts in the 1920s, particularly in Germany. Expressionists deliberately abandoned realistic representation techniques in favour of exaggerations and distortions of line and colour that were intended to carry far greater emotional impact.

  • A German art movement of the 1920s and early 1930s. It was partly a response to the experience of the First World War, with images containing elements of satire and social commentary. Stylistically it was sober and restrained, moving away from Expressionism to depictions based on close observation. Major figures associated with this style are George Grosz and Otto Dix.