27
27
Emil Nolde
STILLEBEN MIT BLUMEN
Estimate
60,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 68,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT
27
Emil Nolde
STILLEBEN MIT BLUMEN
Estimate
60,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 68,750 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Line of Beauty: Drawings from the Collection of Howard and Saretta Barnet

|
New York

Emil Nolde
NOLDE 1867 - 1956 SEEBÜLL
STILLEBEN MIT BLUMEN
Watercolor;
signed lower left: Nolde
339 by 469 mm; 13 3/8 by 18 1/2 in
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Dr Manfred Reuther.

Provenance

Private Collection, New York,
where acquired by the parents of Saretta Barnet, circa 1960s

Catalogue Note

Emil and Ada Nolde moved to the village of Notsmarkov on the island of Alsen in the North Sea in 1903. They rented a fisherman's cottage (fig. 1) and set about creating the subject for some of the artist's most important works: the garden. His fourth stay on the island in 1906 marked the start of a fruitful, intensive phase of creativity when Nolde adopted a new powerful use of color. Manfred Reuther notes that “wherever Nolde lived, he tried to reshape his surroundings and to create flower gardens; in Alsen, at his house at Utenwarf by the North Sea, and later... at Seebüll. He longed for harmony with nature, to which he had felt so close and unbroken an affinity since early childhood.” 1

The present work is an outstanding example of Nolde’s immersion into the world of color in his attempt to capture the essence of the natural world. He developed an open brushwork, free of any harsh outlines, to let the pigments expand into fields of colors, almost like the blossoms themselves. He would take as a starting point easily identified localities or close-ups of flowers, rather than embarking on large scale panoramic views.

The artist's engagement with this particular subject matter also demonstrates Nolde's interest in the work of Vincent van Gogh, particularly in one of his most iconic subject matters—still-lives of flowers. During the 1920s and early 1930s Nolde visited several exhibitions of the Dutch artist's work; which included among others, the major van Gogh retrospective at the Galerie Paul Cassirer in Berlin in 1928. The fervent dedication to expression and symbolic use of color exhibited in van Gogh's works matched Nolde's own deeply held ideology. The artist wrote: "I loved the music of colours... Yellow can depict happiness and also pain. Red can mean fire, blood or roses; blue can mean silver, the sky or a storm, each colour has a soul of its own."2

The culmination of these theories can be found in his flower paintings and watercolors such as the present work: "The glowing colors of the flowers and the purity of the colors—I loved it all. I loved the flowers in their destiny: shooting up, blossoming, bending, fading, thrown into a ditch. A human destiny is not always so fine."3  As a keen observer of his surroundings and deeply immersed in nature, Nolde was one of the few painters of his time to translate flowers into a powerful painterly expression in such a persuasive and compelling way.

1. M. Reuther in Emil Nolde (exhibition catalogue), Whitechapel Gallery, London 1996, p. 119

2. Martin Urban, Emil Nolde Landscapes, New York 1969, p. 16

3. Emil Nolde, Jahre der Kämpfe, Cologne 1967, p. 100

Fig. 1, Emil and Ada Nolde at the Fisherman's House on the island of Alsen, circa 1910

The Line of Beauty: Drawings from the Collection of Howard and Saretta Barnet

|
New York