Four works by German expressionist Otto Dix were discovered by accident in Bavaria among the belongings of the painter’s wife, according to Reuters.
Peter Barth and Herbert Remmert, the owners of Remmert Gallery in Dusseldorf, were searching the estate of collectors Hans and Martha Koch (now owned by the couple’s daughter and granddaughter) for work by other artists when they discovered the Dix paintings in an old portfolio. According to Reuters, it had been “untouched for decades.”
Martha Koch fell in love with Dix and divorced Hans. Dix married her in 1923.
The paintings date from 1922-1925. There are two watercolors, a painting study of a portrait of art dealer Alfred Flechtheim and a large scale work depicting “a street scene with prostitutes.” One of Dix’s most iconic paintings, “Metropolis,” features a wounded veteran gazing at a group of prostitutes; a body lay in the shadows beneath his feet. When the Nazis gained control of Germany, Hitler branded Dix “degenerate.” Many of his works were burned.
The four lost works are valued at $287,960 each. The gallery plans to exhibit them in a show next year.
As it turns out, Mr. Barth and Mr. Remmert are quite skilled at discovering lost masterworks. Last year, they found a watercolor by Dix’s contemporary George Grosz at the Koch estate called “Germany, a Winter’s Fairytale.”