The Online Otto Dix Project

A German Artist and Print Maker

The War Cripples

Year: 1920

Description: By 1920, Dix was associated with the Berlin Dadaists. In the summer of that year, he exhibited this painting at the First International Dada Fair. Unlike many works on display, this one avoided official controversy despite its accusatory tone. Other works were not as fortunate. The military filed charges of insult against several artists at the exhibition.

So while it may have escaped the military's ire during the Dada Fair, it become a lightening rod the following winter when Paul F. Schmidt purchased it for the Dresden Museum. Later when Hitler came to power, it was seized and displayed in the Nazi's Degenerate Art exhibition. It was captioned, "Slander against the German Heroes of the World War."

In this painting, Dix leaves no one unscathed. He damns the military for butchering his generation, the public for its fascination with these reconstituted men and the cripples themselves for their undiminished national pride. 

The reproduction seen here was taken from a period photograph. The War Cripples disappeared after the Degenerate Art exhibition. It's location is currently unknown and it is presumed destroyed.

Provenance: Location unknown

  • This is a photographic reproduction of a halftone image; the actual painting is presumed destroyed
  • First International Dada Fair (1920)

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  • Sabrina Sohn

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