Otto Dix was a German painter and printmaker. Volunteering as a machine-gunner during World War I, he served in the German army from 1914 to 1918. Experiencing combat on the front lines, Dix was injured and hospitalised before being discharged. As a war veteran, Dix returned to the brutality he experienced through his art. Desolated landscapes and mutilated bodies are pronounced themes throughout his paintings and prints after 1914. With a tactic of overt social criticism Dix presented images that offer a fearless account of the physical and psychological horrors of war.

In 1923 Dix had his first solo exhibition at the Galerie I. B. Neumann in Berlin. As a leading figure of the Neue sachlichkeit movement, following a revised form of realism, he received commercial success and wider recognition. In 1926, Dix became a professor in the Kunstakademie in Dresden. He maintained that position until the Nazis rose to power in 1933.