Holy Anne with Two Others (Hl. Anna selbtritt)

Accession Number

Holy Anne with Two Others (Hl. Anna selbtritt)

Otto Dix

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
charcoal on ready brown wove paper

13 1/4 in. x 11 in. ( 33.66 cm x 27.94 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection

Label copy
Otto Dix
Germany, 1891–1969
Holy Anne with Two Others (Hl. Anna selbdritt)
Charcoal on paper
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.92
Expressionists conducted other kinds of experiments with line and the human form, besides direct figure study. Otto Dix, known for his later Neue Sachlichkeit “realistic” and grotesque renderings of war’s violence and its resulting human carnage, filled his early work with linear reinventions of canonical artistic works and stories. Here a reinterpretation of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Virgin and Child with St. Anne is composed almost entirely out of the U-shaped lines that define the figures’ breasts. At times elongated, and sometimes strongly angled, this U shape can even be seen (inverted) in the outline of the figural trio.

Subject matter
20th-century version of the traditional presentation of Saint Anne, often portrayed with the Holy Family, or with the Virgin Mary and child (see Leonardo da Vinci, "The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and Saint John the Baptist," 1499-1500, The National Gallery, London).

Physical Description
Three center female figures with exposed breasts and halos. Entire picture composed of overlapping U- or V-shaped charcoal strokes.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
life drawing

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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religious art

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& Author Notes

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