Matrosen in Antwerpen (Sailors in Antwerp), plate 32 from Der Krieg (The War), 1924
Otto Dix; Publisher: Karl Nierendorf
Etching and aquatint on wove paper
The John R. Van Derlip Fund and Gift of funds from Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison and the Regis Foundation 2005.16.1.32
Not on View
The crude groping and dancing of these ugly sailors and women in a dark tavern in Antwerp show that barbarian behavior was not reserved for the battlefield. The plates from Der Krieg seem to tie humankind’s basic, reptilian instincts—survival and procreation—to those of animals.
Otto Dix compared printmaking to alchemy, celebrating aquatint for its endless transformative possibilities. To describe the shadows of this sordid brothel, he placed the copper plate in the acid bath multiple times, and used stopping-out varnish to create highlights in the darkness
Image: In Copyright. The John R. Van Derlip Fund and Gift of funds from Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison and the Regis Foundation