Otto Dix (1891-1969, German)

Otto Dix, cat artOtto Dix (1891-1969, German) was a German Expressionist painter and printmaker who believed that sex was the most important driving force for all men, and that men and women were in constant conflict. Many of his paintings and prints are based on the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, in which the sexes are locked in eternal battle. Dix’s works are dark and portray a society without moral rule. Dix’s woodcuts between 1919-1920 reflect his criticism of the Weimar Republic and war.  Many of his paintings are of death, murder and prostitutes. Most of the inclusions of cats in his works can be seen as symbolic of their relationship with women, but not all. Many are undoubtedly reflective of Dix’s own affinity for the animal.

Dix was interested in art from an early age and attended Kunstgewerbeschule in Dresden. His early works were of realistic landscapes and portraits. In 1915, Dix volunteered for service in WWI and was assigned to a machine gun unit. He earned the Iron Cross. The horrors of war profoundly affected Dix, and he later incorporated these into his works.

Influenced by the Dada movement and Expressionism, Dix exhibited his works in Berlin. With the coming to power of the Nazis, his works were termed ‘degenerate’ Entartete Kunst and burned. Dix was forced to join the Nazi’s Reich Chamber of Fine Arts as all artists were at the time. He was forbidden to paint anything other than bucolic landscapes. In 1939, he was accused of plotting against Hitler and arrested but was later released. Dix served during WWII but was captured by the French and released in 1946.

Dix’s post WWII works are mostly religious allegories. In later years, he was awarded many prizes for his works. On July 25, 1969, Dix died of a stroke and was buried in Hemmenhofen on Lake Constance.



Cats - Otto Dix - 1920, Woodcut.

Cats, 1920, Woodcut




Otto Dix, Cat and Child

Cat and Child



Otto Dix, Katzen (Theodor Däubler gewidmet) Cats. 1920

Katzen (Theodor Däubler gewidmet) Cats 1920




Mädchen mit Katze (1956), Otto Dix, Girl with Cat

Mädchen mit Katze/ Girl with Cat, 1956




Mädchen mit katze II(Girl with cat II), 1956, Otto Dix

Mädchen mit katze II /Girl with cat II, 1956




Otto Dix, Katze und Hahn/ Cat and Rooster

Katze und Hahn/ Cat and Rooster





Cat and Cock II, Otto Dix, 1957

Cat and Cock II, 1957




Otto Dix, Katze und Hahn sketch

Katze und Hahn sketch








Cat in Poppies, Otto Dix

Cat in Poppies I




Cat in the Poppy Field, Katze im Mohnfeld, 1968, Otto Dix

Cat in the Poppy Field, Katze im Mohnfeld, 1968




Katze und Katchen, Cat and Kitten, Otto Dix

Katze und Katchen, Cat and Kitten




Otto Dix, Katze und Blumen/Cat and Flowers

Katze und Blumen/Cat and Flowers




Want to know more about the cat in art, history and literature? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you.  Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 



Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats




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