Otto Dix was still a young and unknown painter when he returned to Dresden in 1919 after 3 years at the Front. He enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts where, following various experiments with Expressionism, Futurism and Dada, he finally opted for a distinctive realist idiom that allowed him to offer a critical vision of the society that surrounded him. This new style made Dix one of the leading representatives of the New Objectivity movement (Neue Sachlichkeit). In Dix’s case, his realistic style, which he used to capture the most minute details with an almost unhealthy precision, was associated with a working method that involved numerous references to the art of the great Renaissance masters.
“My ideal was to paint like the Early Renaissance masters”, Dix stated in 1961, and we undoubtedly find evidence of this passion for Renaissance art – both Italian and German – during his time as a student at the School... (http://www2.museothyssen.org/microsites/otto_dix/maestros_ing.html)