German realist and graphic artist Otto Dix was born in Untermhaus, Gera, Germany. In his earlier years he studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Kunstgewerbeschule in Dresden. When World War I broke out in Europe in 1914, Otto Dix eagerly volunteered but his traumatic experiences during the war would shape his art and affect him for the rest of his life and are portrayed in many of his works.
Returning home after the war, he moved to Dresden during what became known as his expressionist phase. He was influenced by artists such as George Grosz, a member of the New Objectivity Group. Otto Dix founded the Dresdner Sezession, a short lived collaboration of Expressionist and Dada artists and writers that only lasted until 1925
During World War II Otto Dix, like many artists in Germany during the 1930’s, was forced to join the Nazi government’s Reich Chamber of Fine Arts which allowed only paintings of landscapes. Following WWII, Dix returned to Dresden, Germany and his pieces portrayed Post-War suffering in a divided Germany. He also created lithographs, portraits and biblical scenes, until 1967, after a stroke which paralyzed his left hand. He died in 1969.
He earned recognition in both parts of Germany being awarded the Grand Merit Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany (Großes Verdienstkreuz), the Hans Thoma Prize and in 1968 the Rembrandt Prize of the Goethe Foundation. He was also made an honorary citizen in his hometown of Gera.