The Online Otto Dix Project

A German Artist and Print Maker

Self-Portrait with Carnation

Year: 1912


At twenty-two, a young Albrecht Dürer painted a Self-portrait with a thistle (Selbstportrait mit Distel [1493, Louvre]) He probably executed the work as a gift to his new fiancée. At twenty-one, Dix extended a nod in the master's direction when he painted himself in a similar motif.

In this painting we see an incredibly confident young man. Dix didn't just emulate an Old Master. He depicted himself as an Old Master. There are many established artists who would never consider doing such a thing, let alone doing it at aged 21.

Yet as we watch his career unfold, we're left to wonder just how much self-confidence Dix really possessed. As you scroll through this exhibition you'll find that he has a tendency to treat his human subjects in a most unflattering fashion; he accentuates their negative qualities as he downplays their good ones. Yet his own self-portraits never received such treatment. Dix always presents himself in the finest manner.

Provenance: Public Museum

  • Institute of the Arts, Detroit, USA

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  • Sabrina Sohn

    I was wondering if the subject matter himself commissioned the artist to draw the doctor or not? thanks