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The Cover
July 11, 2001

The Felixmüller Family

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2001;286(2):137. doi:10.1001/jama.286.2.137

War leaves no one unscathed. Perhaps none realized this more keenly nor expressed it more eloquently than the generation of artists who came of age during or just after World War I. Some were killed and some were maimed, but even those who returned visibly intact had lost their innocence. So had art. One whose life and work demonstrates this most vividly is the German painter Otto Dix (1891-1969) (JAMA cover, September 22/29, 1999). Born in Untermhaus near Gera, he began his art studies at age 13, first in Gera and then in Dresden. Influenced by both the northern Renaissance style and the work of Vincent van Gogh, which he first saw in 1912, Dix began doing portraits and landscapes in the German Expressionist style, which had become popular at the turn of the century. But the style would prove inadequate to express his war experiences. For this he had to turn to the French and to the Italians, to Cubism to express the many facets of objects in space, to Futurism to express the speedy disintegration of forms and the ambiguity of space. For want of a better term Dix's style at this time is called "cubofuturist." By war's end it had replaced the popular prewar Expressionism for the generation who had survived.