Medium and Support:
Watercolor, graphite on paper
Gift from the Estate of Vance E. Kondon and Liesbeth Giesberger.
14 13/16 in. x 19 5/8 in. (37.62 cm x 49.85 cm)
Otto Dix’s career began in Dresden, where he emulated the slightly older artists of Die Brücke, but he came into his own as an artist during the war and afterwards. Much of his work focuses on the decadence of postwar Germany and depicts war profiteers, prostitutes, crippled veterans, and sexual violence. Prostitution proliferated in Germany after World War I, when poverty and widowhood left many women with no other recourse for survival. In Dix’s caustic view, a brothel scene like the present work is the very symbol of social depravity and corruption. The hulking sailor on leave—a familiar subject—seems about to transfer the violence of war into sexual aggression, despite the leering grins on the faces of both figures.
Last Updated: 7/26/2012