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gouache, watercolour and pencil on wove paper
61 x 48,2 cm (24 x 19 in.)
signed and dated lower right verso titled, dated and with dedication 'Mädchen mit Rose am 22.2.23 Quersumme 11 dem Mutzlein!'
In the work of verist Otto Dix, whose portraits and depictions of people in the 1920s can sometimes be ruthless to the point of painfulness, the “Girl with Rose” is almost a romantically tender depiction. The unknown lady with the hat presents herself with boots, black stockings and a transparent negligee and raises the rose in her right hand with a mischievous smile towards the viewer. A cat has taken a seat on her lap, the symbolism of which underscores the erotic tension of the work. Otto Dix gave this detailed watercolour to his wife Martha and provided it with an enigmatic dedication for her: "Girl with rose on 2/22/23 checksum 11 for Mutzlein!". "Mutzlein" means none other than Martha Dix - she soon wore the nickname "Mutzli" in her relationship with Otto Dix, whom she called "Jim" or "Jimmy". The reference to "checksum 11" is apparently a private joke between the two, but the date is of particular interest. Dix often gave Martha drawings and watercolours on various occasions. The reason for the gift of this work may have been the marriage of Martha and Otto Dix, which is known to have taken place in February 1923, but no exact date has been handed down. Nevertheless, the motif and the unusual dedication make it probable that Otto Dix presented this watercolour to his bride on their wedding day 100 years ago, on February 22, 1923.