Blondes Mädchen mit losen Blumen (am Tisch sitzend)
Oil on fibreboard 49.9 x 64.9 cm Framed. Black artist's signum upper left and dated '48'. On the verso, titled "Kind mit Blumen" in black pen, probably by an unknown hand. - Minor frame-related rubbing directly at the margin, three corners slightly compressed.
In early 1946 Otto Dix returned from his captivity as a French prisoner of war to his family in Hemmenhofen, next to Lake Constance. This period marks a decisive break within his oeuvre, indeed, his manner of painting changed fundamentally: he renounced the glaze technique he had utilised since the 1930s in favour of an expressive alla prima painting, a clear expression of his renewed joy in life and creation. This also manifested itself in the enormous number of paintings - around 150 - which he completed within just four years. Dix primarily directed his attention to his immediate surroundings and its rural inhabitants. These works include a number of images of girls, which he continued creating until 1957; “Blondes Mädchen mit losen Blumen” is one of them.
The young girl portrayed by Dix is wearing a simple summer dress, with her hair tied in a bun, and she is sitting outdoors at a little white table. A tree trunk rises up along the right edge of the painting, and the summery blue sky in the background has been laid down in sweeping, broad brushstrokes. Several pink-coloured blooms lie on the white tabletop, and the sitter seems completely absorbed in carefully looking at and arranging these flowers. The reductive palette of colours employed here is remarkable: orange, pink, blue and white dominate the painting and reinforce the summery atmosphere. These tones are taken up again at various points within the composition; thus, for example, the luminous light blue of the sky reappears on the front edge of the table, in the contour lines of the dress and in the girl's eyes.
In the works from these years we experience a cheerful, relaxed Dix, who has apparently overcome the demons of the past. With empathetic interest he captures that enraptured immersion in an activity which is typical of children; the symbolism of blossoming life may also play a role for him.
We would likte to thank Rainer Pfefferkorn, Otto Dix Stiftung, Vaduz, for additional information.
Sotheby’s London July 1970; Galerie Koch, Hanover (1974); Private collection, North Rhine-Westphalia; in family possession since, Hesse