The Painter Otto Dix and his Wife Martha, August Sander
August Sander
The Painter Otto Dix and his Wife Martha
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August Sander

The Painter Otto Dix and his Wife Martha, 1925

18 x 18.8 cm
40 x 35 cm
Physical Description
Silver Gelatin Print on baryta paper
Inventory Number
Acquired in 2011 with support from the Kulturstiftung der Länder and the Hessischer Kulturstiftung, property of the Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
Not on display


About the Work

In this photograph of the painter couple Martha and Otto Dix, August Sander experimented with gazes in two different directions. Whereas Martha Dix looks at the viewer head-on, her husband’s face appears in profile. Despite the two figures’ physical proximity, the photo conveys nothing in the way of intimate familiarity, but—in a manner reminiscent of portrait depictions of 1920s New Objective painting—is distinguished by a chilly, aloof austerity. Sander included the photo of the Dix couple in his portfolio People of the Twentieth Century, in which he brought together hundreds of portraits of persons belonging to a wide range of social classes and occupations. He later published it again in his book Face of our Time, featuring sixty photographic likenesses. Captions such as ‘widower’, ‘confectioner’, ‘secretary’, et cetera defined the figures depicted as representatives of certain contemporary types. In 1936 the Gestapo destroyed the book’s print sheets (not the negatives) after the Reich Literature Chamber had prohibited its publication.

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