Violence on canvas: A representation of inner-turmoil, or, an analysis of Otto Dix and his Lustmord series



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This thesis looks at the German artist Otto Dix’s (1891-1969) Lustmord (Sex Death) series, six works created between 1920 and 1922. This thesis focuses on the idea that Dix potentially suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following his time spent in the trenches as a soldier during World War I (1914-1918). This theory is used to provide a possible explanation for the graphic imagery and subject matter that is Dix’s Lustmord works – works potentially created to satisfy the artist’s inner violent urges brought out by PTSD.

The artist’s life, time period, and art have all been considered in the overall interpretation of his series, as well as how modern day knowledge on PTSD can be used in conjunction with statements made concerning the artist’s character by both Dix and his contemporaries. The objective of this thesis is to provide a new potential means of interpreting these works, as well as offer possible insight into the artist’s psyche.



Art, Art History, Thesis, Art History Thesis, Interwar Period, German Art