House behind trees near Souchez
  • Otto Dix
  • Gera-Untermhaus 1891 - 1969 Singen
  • House behind trees near Souchez, ca. 1916
  • Black chalk, partly smeared, on thin paper
  • signed with chalk on the lower right: DIX, inscribed with pencil on the verso presumably by another hand: Haus & Baumstümpfe (house and treestumps)
  • 285 × 287 mm
Antiquarian bookshop Unter den Linden, Berlin (1970)
Private collection, Rhineland (until 2014)

Otto Dix experienced the terrors of World War I first-hand as a soldier on various fronts, both in Flanders and France as well as in Russia. He was wounded multiple times and attempted to work through all of these dramatic experiences in his drawings. Nearly 600 works from these three years on the battlefield are extant and rank among the most intensive works of his entire oeuvre.

This starkly expressionist study emerged around 1916, probably near the village of Souchez, north of Arras in the Département Pas-de-Calais, where Dix was stationed at the time. Another chalk drawing entitled Waldlandschaft (Forest Landscape)1 is closely related, both stylistically and thematically, as is a gouache designated as Aus dem Souchez-Tal (From the Souchez Valley)2; both support this chronology. This recently published drawing was not yet included in Ulrike Lorenz’s catalogue raisonné from 2003; in the meantime however, it has been included in the Dix Foundation’s archive in Vaduz, registered under the addendum number Lorenz 5.5.19.

Rolf Karnahl issued a first expertise in 1970 for the Antiquarian bookshop Unter den Linden in East Berlin. This letter has been kept with the drawing until today.

We are grateful to Ulrike Lorenz for confirming the authenticity of this sheet.

  1. Otto Dix: Waldlandschaft, 1916, black chalk on brown paper, monogram, 280 x 270 mm (Lorenz WK 5.5.7)
  2. Otto Dix: Aus dem Souchez-Tal, 1916, gouache on paper, signed: DIX, 288 x 281 mm, Staatl. Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (inv. no. C 1946-61) (Pfäffle G 1916/3)