Otto Dix - Bildnis Rechtsanwalt Eberhard Ascher - image-1

Lot 122 D

Otto Dix - Bildnis Rechtsanwalt Eberhard Ascher

Auction 1156 - overview Cologne
20.06.2020, 11:00 - Modern and Contemporary Art - Day Sale
Estimate: 25.000 € - 30.000 €
Result: 40.000 € (incl. premium)

Otto Dix

Bildnis Rechtsanwalt Eberhard Ascher

Oil on canvas 100 x 81.3 cm Framed. Artist's mark and dated '53' in light green lower right. - Minute loss of colour in upper left margin. Minor craquelure in few places. Overall in fine condition with very vibrant colours.

Mr and Mrs Ascher were neighbours of Otto Dix in Hemmenhofen am Bodensee, and a close friendship linked their two families. Dr Eberhard Ascher worked for Dix as a lawyer and had a law firm in Wuppertal, where he lived most of the time.
Since the early 1950s Dix had increasingly received commissions for portraits from factory owners, lawyers, medical professionals, art collectors and senior civil servants, particularly from the Ruhr valley and the Rhineland. While the portrait of Elisabeth Ascher was created in Hemmenhofen in 1946, a year before her death (see preceding lot), Dix created several preparatory drawings in 1953 for his likeness of Eberhard Ascher at his house in Wuppertal, where Ascher had placed a studio at the artist's disposal for his other portrait commissions in Wuppertal. In preparation for his portrait of Wuppertal's Prof. Gerhard Domagk (Löffler 1953/4), a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, Dix wrote to his family in November 1953: “Yesterday evening Ascher had a small get-together. Domagk and Mr Kromberg and his wife and also 3 others. Ascher is, I think, very well-regarded in Barmen.” (cited in Ulrike Lorenz (ed.), Otto Dix. Briefe, Köln 2013, p. 344).
However, the realisation of the present painting was carried out in Hemmenhofen. In the background it is possible to recognise the wooded area adjacent to the property of the Dix family, immersed in luminous autumnal colours, as well as the westernmost tip of Lake Constance - the Untersee (Lower Lake) - with its Swiss shore.

Catalogue Raisonné

Löffler 1953/6; cf. Lorenz SW 7.1.11-16 (6 preparatory pencil drawings)


We would like to thank Rainer Pfefferkorn, Otto Dix Stiftung, Vaduz, for additional information.


Private possession, Baden-Württemberg; in family possession since


Wuppertal 1964 (Kunst- und Museumsverein), Deutsche Bildnisse des 20. Jahrhunderts: Malerei und Plastik, cat. no. 11; Düsseldorf 1971 (Städtische Kunsthalle), Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts. Freie Berufe sammeln. Malerei, Plastik, Objekte, Graphik, cat. no. 57