Summer Afternoon 

Thyssen Bornemisza in Madrid

It is one of the most beautiful and most important paintings painted by Nolde in 1903, at a crucial time of his life. In 1902, he changed his name-Hansen-to Nolde, the name of his native village.  The same year he married Ada Vilstrup and lost his mother. Raised in the countryside, he settled in May 1903 in Notmarskov in the Ile Alsen. This stay was one of the happiest moments of his life and its isolation in a rural environment widens its palette which becomes brighter, more modulated and reaches an emotional intensity that will characterize all its work.,.

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German Expressionist

Son of a farmer from Schleswig, Emil Nolde practises ornamental sculpture before being interested in painting.  He discovers the paintings of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin at exhibitions in Berlin and Weimar, works that will influence him deeply. But it continues to represent a dream world, a very free transposition of Scandinavian myths. With audacity in the slurry and chromaticism that belong only to him.

The first painting of one of the most appreciated artists of the expressionist movement is rejected by the jury of the Munich International Exhibition of 1898. It shows the taste of the fantastic and the grotesque of Nolde, who will continue to impregnate his painting recurring: “The Giants of the Mountains” (1898-98) offer in the eyes of the public four characters Rabelaisian, earthy, grotesque, monstrously Modern, sitting around a pitcher, but arose from the ancient Norse legends.

He began to expose as early as 1906, especially in Dresden, where his country-style painting, with a colourful treatment of thick paste, enthusiastically inspired the artists of the group Die Brücke (Le pont). From 1905 onwards, he moved to Berlin. The themes of his paintings evolve, he approaches religious subjects, using the same technique of pure colors in flat. He also paints many Marines, some of which are at the edge of abstraction.

The naturalistic and post-impressionist influence are also pregnant, before its taste of the color, which will become its trademark, does not take over. It multiplies the representations of gardens and flowers, with bright colors-with a predilection for red

Nolde, appreciated by Goebbels, adheres to the Nazi Party, in 1934 and acts of Allegiance, not aesthetics-on this point it will be unshakable-but political. In vain. Nolde becomes in the years following the hero despite him of all the exhibitions organized by the Nazis to stigmatise “degenerate art”. Worse still, 1 052 of his works preserved in German museums are sold abroad, or burned, and, in August 1941, the Nazis mean to him the prohibition of painting.

He will end his days in 1956 at Seebüll.

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