Germany 1891 – 1969
Toter (St. Clement) [Dead man - St Clement], plate 42 from Der Krieg
Description: plate 42 from the portfolio Der Krieg [War], a portfolio of 50 prints in 5 parts, plus 1 additional print
Place made: Berlin, Germany
Materials & Technique: prints, Intaglio etching, aquatint and drypoint, printed in black ink. Support: BSB-Maschinen-Butten
Manufacturer's Mark: BSB
Edition State: 4th state
Edition: ed 58/70
Publisher: VERLAG KARL NIERENDORF
Place Published: Berlin
Date Published: 1924
In 1963, explaining why he volunteered for the army in the First World War, Dix had this to say:
I had to experience how someone beside me suddenly falls over and is dead and the bullet has hit him squarely. I had to experience that quite directly. I wanted it. I'm therefore not a pacifist at all - or am I? Perhaps I was an inquisitive person. I had to see all that myself. I'm such a realist, you know, that I have to see everything with my own eyes in order to confirm that it's like that. I have to experience all the ghastly, bottomless depths of life for myself.
Elsewhere he said: 'I did not paint war pictures in order to prevent war. I would never have been so arrogant. I painted them to exorcise the experience of war. All art is about exorcism.'
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra