Nolde’s first studio, located on the island of Alsen where he spent the summer months from 1903 onwards, was a wooden hut on the very edge of the beach. There he could observe the sea closely, at any time of the day, and in all its moods. His first biographer, Max Sauerlandt, wrote that ‘Nolde understands the sea like no other painter before him’ and that ‘above all, he enjoyed painting the sea in stormy agitation, showing heavy swells transforming into white breakers beneath heavy clouds’ (Max Sauerlandt, Emil Nolde, Munich, 1921, pp. 49-50).
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