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The Businessman Max Roesberg, Otto Dix - Description of the Painting

03 June 2022
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The Businessman Max Roesberg - Otto Dix. 1922. Oil on canvas. 94 x 63.5 cm


Otto Dix was an artist whose creation developed in different directions - from expressionism to Dadaism, and in this painting he appeared as a representative of a so-called "New Materiality" movement, reflecting the mood that gripped people in a troubled time for Germany just after the country’s defeat in the First World War.

Dix depicted the lawyers, art dealers, businessmen, poets, prostitutes, and many others, and in the characters there is a lot of funny and sad, as in this businessman on the subject painting. His lapidary figure should is expected to give the impression of something secure, but the man's gaze is rather insinuating, and the hand holding the document is faltering. There are some business items on the table just in front of Roesberg, whose activity, apparently, is not filled with special meaning, are they look like trinkets here. Behind, on the wall, the painter placed a clock, serving as a symbol of the flowing time as well as the frailty of being, and a calendar, reminiscent of the cycle of life, which would be empty if there are no activities to elevate the human soul. The pure and unalloyed colors of this painting give the impression of a vacuum in which this man exists.
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