The Nun

German artist Otto Dix expresses themes about religion and sex in his piece “The Nun.” This oil on cardboard is displayed in the MoMa in New York, New York. The viewer’s eyes are drawn to the center of the piece where the focus is a nun, weeping and heavy hearted. On her right is Jesus Christ nailed to the cross with blood streaming down his body. On her left is a naked woman cradling her child in the womb. The nun has devoted her life to her religion for a divine relationship with Jesus Christ and therefore has given up all worldly relationships. Her commitment to the church prohibits any sexual experiences or nakedness. No longer will she be able to bear children of her own or hold them as the naked woman holds her child. She clothes herself in the heavy cloak of her conventual obligations. The black lines resembling flying buttresses on a massive cathedral surrounding her represent the isolation she feels from a life of passion and romance while she remains obedient to the church.


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