Otto Dix Trench Warfare Analysis

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Otto Dix knew and lived the atrocities of World War I firsthand. Among millions of other young men, Dix voluntarily enlisted for the war at age twenty three in August 1914 (Hughes and Blom, 110). Dix trained and fought in the trenches as a machine-gunner for about four years, and was later promoted to be a platoon leader after suffering severe wounds (Cantz, 179). Dix was know to carry a sketchbook, as he liked to capture his experiences in quick sketches. Many sources have noted him having mixed feelings about war. One one hand he was curious, but he knew it was a terrible thing, he said “The war was a hideous thing, but there was something tremendous about it, too. I couldn't afford to miss it. You have to see human beings in this unchained condition in order to know something about them” (Hughes and Blom, 110).…show more content…
Trench Warfare depicts the four different stages of war; the outer left shows the soldiers going to war, the middle is the gory aftermath of the battle, the outer right are the wounded survivors, and last image on the bottom illustrates the dead soldiers in their war graves. Each of the images have symbolic meanings, especially the images in the outer corners. The outer corners of the painting in the left and right are somewhat blurred or fuzzy. This could be symbolic for the many deaths of soldiers who enter war, and the survivors who are later forgotten. The colors in Trench Warfare, are for the most part are muted, dark, and earthy tones. The brush strokes are some what painterly, almost similar to that of an expressionist painting, however Dix’s painting is very real and clear. The use of these colors can be compared to colors of a romantic painting. The romantic colors add to the overall mood of the painting and are symbolic to the painting’s overall
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