Coquelicot Art of the First World War
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Otto Dix, Mahlzeit in der Sappe (Lorettohöhe) (Meal in the Sapping Trench) (Lorette), 1924, watercolour, 35.3 x 47.5 cm, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin.

© Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin.

The death

82 - Otto Dix

There is hardly an engraving in the War set in which Dix does not introduce the macabre. Sometimes it is the only subject of a plate, sometimes it comes as an aside, but is no more bearable for that. In this case, the artist places two different types of drawing style side by side; the more detailed one portrays a starving, bestial soldier, and the more elliptical one shows a skeleton buried close to him - the dead man that he will soon become. From one to the other, the styles become lighter, broken up and ghostly - a metaphor for the destruction of the flesh.