Otto Dill Biography

Otto Dill




Painter and printmaker Otto Dill was born in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Germany, on June 4, 1884. He studied between 1908 and 1914 at the Munich Academy of Arts, taking painting courses from Heinrich Johann von Zugel, under whom he thrived and was soon participating in exhibitions at the Munich Glaspalast (Glass Palace) as a member of the Munich Secessionist group, part of the Neue Kunstlervereinigung (New Artists' Association) founded by Wassily Kandinksy. After enlisting in compulsory military service at the start of World War I, an illness sent him to desk duty with the Bavarian Ministry of War in 1916. He married in 1917 and began continued to exhibit regulary with the Glaspalast. 

In 1924 Dill took a professorship at the Munich Academy and in 1928 and 1932 he competed in the Summer Olympics' visual art competition. Throughout the 1920s and '30s he traveled to North Africa and much of Europe at various times to sketch the landscapes, people, and animals that he encountered, initally establishing an early following due to his powerful imagery of exotic large cats and other predators. In 1930 he Dill returned once more to Neustadt an der Weinstrasse and began concentrating on surrounding landscapes and scenes of rural life, and in 1941 he relocated one last time to Bad Durkheim. There, in 1943 as the Second World War tore apart much of Europe, his studio was destroyed in an air raid and most of his work was lost. 

In 1949 Dill was elected an honorary member of the Munich Art Academy as well as an honorary citizen of Bad Durkheim. After devoting the last three decades of his life to painting the landscapes of his homeland, Dill died on July 6, 1957.