155
155

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE GERMAN COLLECTION

Emil Nolde
MARSCHLANDSCHAFT UNTER HOHEM HIMMEL MIT HOF SEEBÜLL (MARSH LANDSCAPE UNDER HIGH SKIES WITH HOF SEEBÜLL)
JUMP TO LOT
155

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE GERMAN COLLECTION

Emil Nolde
MARSCHLANDSCHAFT UNTER HOHEM HIMMEL MIT HOF SEEBÜLL (MARSH LANDSCAPE UNDER HIGH SKIES WITH HOF SEEBÜLL)
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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Emil Nolde
1867 - 1956
MARSCHLANDSCHAFT UNTER HOHEM HIMMEL MIT HOF SEEBÜLL (MARSH LANDSCAPE UNDER HIGH SKIES WITH HOF SEEBÜLL)
signed Nolde (lower right)
watercolour on paper
33.2 by 45.1cm., 13 by 17 3/4 in.
Executed circa 1930-35. 
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Prof. Manfred Reuther and is registered under the archive no. Nolde A-159/2019. 

Provenance

Private Collection, Northern Germany (a gift from the artist in 1950)
Thence by descent to the present owner in 1990

Catalogue Note

One of the greatest colourists of the twentieth century, Emil Nolde’s remarkable œuvre is demarcated by intensely coloured compositions infused with fantastical elements. The present work, an atmospheric watercolour which captures the expansive landscape and dramatic sky of his home at Seebüll is exemplary of the German Expressionist’s inimitable style, in which the visionary character of his images and overwhelming power of nature is paired with his bold, yet subtle use of colour. Having remained in the same private collection since its execution in the 1930s, the present work is exemplary of the artist's pursuit of spontaneity and pure expression.

In the summer of 1926, Nolde and his wife Ada discovered Seebüll, a marshy landscape close to the German-Danish border. Drawn to the northerly landscape of water meadows and seemingly endless skylines, the artist constructed his home at Seebüll to follow the course of nature and the path of the sun. The immense views from Seebüll, the tumultuous weather patterns and the artist’s meticulously cultivated floral garden became a primary source of inspiration.

In 1910, Nolde began to use absorbent Japanese paper. Harnessing the fluidity of his chosen medium, the artist allowed differing colour planes to merge. Embracing the element of chance and the interplay between nature and colour, Nolde conveys the overwhelming dynamism of nature and portrays the true manifestation of Expressionist ideals. Through layering kaleidoscopic contrasting tones of fluid pigment Nolde introduces contours and accents whilst allowing vibrant blurs of watercolour to merge freely. Musing on his technique, the artist noted ‘all I needed was a vague idea of luminescences of colour. The work then developed of its own accord under my hands’ (Emil Nolde, quoted in Expressionism, Wolf-Dieter Dube, New York, 1973, p. 81).

In Marschlandschaft unter hohem Himmel mit Hof Seebüll, the vibrancy of the looming clouds rendered in differing shades of yellow and purple vividly captures the artist's distinctive reaction to one of nature's most poignant spectacles. 'Each colour has a soul of its own' (Emil Nolde quoted in Martin Urban, Emil Nolde Landscapes, New York, 1969, p. 16).

Prof. Manfred Reuther

According to Nolde, ‘our landscape is modest, removed from all that is intoxicating or lush, we know this, but it adds infinitive amounts of quiet intimate beauty, austere greatness as well as tumultuous life, for the intense observer’ (quoted in, Emil Nolde: Reisen, Ächtung, Befreiung, Köln, 1994, vol. 5, p. 91). In February 1925 he wrote to Ernst Gosebruch, museums director in Essen: ‘I struggle to paint landscapes, only after re-working several times (once or twice) am I satisfied. There are only few landscapes which I rate as highly as some figurative paintings. In smaller watercolours, however, I can achieve the full impact’ (ibid, p. 91). The present watercolour depicts the landscape surrounding Seebüll, the site where the painter finally settled and built his home and studio Seebüll on the highest hill in the valley with a view over the neighbouring farm.

Translated from German

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