Lot 23
  • 23

Otto Dix

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  • Otto Dix
  • signed DIX, dated 22 and numbered 1334/9 (lower right); titled Dompteuse II on the reverse
  • watercolour and pencil on paper
  • 64.5 by 47.5cm.
  • 25 3/8 by 18 3/4 in.


Galerie für Modern Kunst, Hanover
Galerie Meta Nierendorf, Berlin
Galerie Nierendorf, Berlin
Galleria del Levante, Milan and Munich
Sale: Galerie Wolfgang Ketterer, Munich, 15th June 1994, lot 61
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner


Berlin, Kronprinzepalais, Aquarelle von Otto Dix, 1924
Hanover, Galerie für Moderne Kunst, Otto Dix, 1957, no. 12
Berlin, Galerie Meta Nierendorf, Klassiker der jungen Kunst, 1959, no. 17, illustrated in the catalogue
Düsseldorf, Kunstmuseum, Otto Dix, Gemälde, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen und Druckgraphik, 1960, no. 124, illustrated in the catalogue.
Berlin, Galerie Nierendorf, Otto Dix, Bilder, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Das Graphische Gesamtwerk 1913-1960, 1961, no. 18, illustrated in the catalogue
Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Otto Dix, Gemälde, Handzeichnungen, Aquarelle, 1962, no. 76, illustrated in the catalogue
Berlin, Kongresshalle, Otto Dix, Ölgemälde 1913-1963, Aquarelle, Das Graphische Werk, 1963, no. 102, illustrated in the catalogue
Milan, Galeria del Levante, Otto Dix, personale restrospective, 1964, no. 18, illustrated in the catalogue
The Hague, Museum Paleis Lange Voorhout; Stockholm, Liljevalchs Konsthall; Helsinki, Helsingin Taidehalli and Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Art et Résistance, Les peintres allemandes de l’entre-deux-guerres – La Collection Marvin et Janet Fishman, 1995-1996, no. 24
Milwaukee, Art Museum, Making Marks: Drawing in the 20th Century from Picasso to Kiefer, 1998, no. 35, illustrated in the catalogue (with the title Lion Trainer)


Brigid S. Barton, Otto Dix and Die Neue Sachlichkeit 1918-1925, Michigan, 1981, no. V.B. 63, listed p. 142
Suse Pfäffle, Otto Dix, Werkverseichnis der Aquarelle und Gouachen, Stuttgart, 1991, no. A 1922/35, illustrated p. 154
Le Vif/L’Express, 6th July 1996, illustrated in colour p. 86

Catalogue Note

Dix executed a number of works depicting circus performers, including highly colourful Bildbuch (picture-book) images of bareback riders and performing elephants, in the early 1920s. These studies of circus life present a light-hearted departure from the images of the aftermath of the First World War that dominated his work during this period.


Executed in 1922, the present watercolour depicts a female lion tamer with a whip and a cap gun. Dressed in a tightly corsetted costume and with a cheap tiara and an exotic blue feather on her head, a skull buckle on her belt, a rose at her breast and a cape at her neck, the Dompteuse has all the cheap exoticism of the circus performer. The lion itself, however, over which the mistress dominates, is nowhere to be seen adding an ambiguous sexual connotation to the scene.

Dix executed a dry-point etching of the same sujbect in 1922 (fig. 1).

Fig. 1, Otto Dix, Dompteuse, 1922, dry-point, published in portfolio Circus