Emil Nolde - Marschlandschaft mit Strohdiemen
Marschlandschaft mit Strohdiemen
Watercolour on soft, fibrous Japan paper 35.5 x 47.5 cm Framed under glass. Signed 'Nolde' in pen and ink lower left. - The colours fresh, the upper right corners with small pin holes.
Colour is Emil Nolde's central medium of expression: it is his most important artistic means and the essence of his experience of the world. In subtly modulated passages of green, yellow and blue, he uses it to arrange his depiction of a fen landscape in late summer, which is presented to viewers in vibrating shapes and, in its dynamic forms, evokes a tonality possessing a musical quality at times. The composition is defined by the simplification and summary depiction of surfaces in space, and this helps provide the high-contrast landscape with its strikingly direct expressive power.
With few exceptions Nolde painted his large landscape watercolours in the period between 1918/19 and 1951; according to Martin Urban it is only rarely possible to date them precisely (see Martin Urban, Emil Nolde: Landschaften; Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, Cologne 1969, p. 32). He created his works without sketched preliminary drawing; the forms of objects, such as the haystacks and trees in the present painting, are only occasionally outlined with broad lines establishing their contours. The artist liked for drawing to develop organically out of the colours, and the outlines drawn loosely on to the free chromatic composition thus simultaneously seem to be an integral element of a complex painting process: “Painting by drawing and drawing by painting and doing so without rules is very difficult; I do it as well as I can. It is surely the highest type of artistic creation, as far as technique is concerned.” (Emil Nolde on 25 May 1945, cited in: Martin Urban, op. cit., p. 32).
This work is recorded in the archives of the Stiftung Ada und Emil Nolde in Seebüll.
From the artist's estate; Galerie Wilhelm Grosshennig, Düsseldorf (acquired in 1964 by Joachim von Lepel, the then director of the Nolde Museum in Seebüll); Weinmüller, Munich (1965); acquired there in 1967