Otto Dix - Herbstliche (Elb?)landschaft
Oil on canvas. mounted on fibreboard 41.5 x 58.5 cm Framed. Signed 'DIX' in black lower right.
According to the report by Rainer Beck, the present painting is an early work by Otto Dix, and it was created at the beginning of his education at the Großherzoglich-Sächsische Kunstgewerbeschule in Dresden (1910-1914). According to Beck, it very probably depicts a landscape along the Elbe in the area known as Saxon Switzerland. The viewer's gaze glides from a steep forest path over an area set aside for growing young pines down into the Elbe valley with the river, whose presence is merely suggested, and on to a small community and the chain of hills of Saxon Switzerland rising up behind it; at the left, several trees which have lost their leaves suggest that the painting was created in the fall. There is a particularly appealing contrast between the strip of forest, which is maintained primarily in dark green tones and runs through the image along a wide diagonal, and the light forest path in the foreground as well as the Elbe river valley in the distance, covered in a light-coloured mist. In this early composition, Dix already shows himself to be a master of landscape painting, who is able to capture the topographical situation in a sovereign fashion. The painterly, 'alla prima' application of the oil paint is typical of the artist's open-air paintings of those years, which are characterised by an almost abstract manner through their late Impressionist brushstroke. Between 1910 and 1912, Dix created a whole series of other Elbe landscapes, for example, “Elbe bei Dresden” (Löffler 1911/15), “Bei Antons an der Elbe mit Wäschebleiche (?)” (1911/17), “Die Elbwiesen bei Antons I” (1912/19), “Elbe mit Blick auf die Loschwitzberge” (1911/12).
Not recorded by Löffler
With an expertise by Rainer Beck, Coswig, dated 28 September 2014. The work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the paintings by Otto Dix under the title "Herbstliche (Elb?)landschaft".
The work is registered with the archive of the Otto Dix Foundation in Bevaix under the no. 1910/17.
Private possession, Hesse