German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse
March 27–July 11, 2011
In this brothel scene the characterization of the salacious sailor, based on Dix's observations during the war, suggests a transfer of military violence into brutal sexual aggression. Prostitution proliferated in Germany in the years following World War I, when poverty and widowhood left many women with no other recourse. It is a recurring theme in Dix's work of the 1920s, symbolizing societal depravity and corruption.