Emil Nolde - Dschunken im chinesischen Meer - image-1

Lot 3 D

Emil Nolde - Dschunken im chinesischen Meer

Auction 1200 - overview Cologne
01.06.2022, 18:00 - Evening Sale - Modern and Contemporary Art
Estimate: 60.000 € - 80.000 €
Result: 75.600 € (incl. premium)

Emil Nolde

Dschunken im chinesischen Meer

Watercolour and brush and India ink on Japan laid paper. 21 x 30 cm. Framed under glass. Signed lower right in pencil. - Laid on Japan paper (22.7 x 31.8 cm). Faint crease folds to right corners, otherwise in very good condition.

With a fluid combination of a complementary blue-green and yellow-orange, Emil Nolde uses a reductive, but energetic ink-brush technique to more closely explore traditional Chinese painting and to assimilate the activity and its setting in a brilliantly adapted manner.
From 1913 he took part in the “Medical-Demographic Expedition to German New Guinea” as a painter – but not without first completing his prophylactically life-saving training in shooting and riding in Berlin’s Tiergarten park. The expedition’s route to the South Pacific led through China, among other places. In November 1913, Nolde travelled down the Yangtze River from Hankou to Shanghai. “[…] a marvellous journey – countless junks meeting us or sailing down river. Junks with high, white or coloured, magnificent sails. All this was my pleasure, my element, this life and activity on the water, with the long reflections of the sails […]” (Emil Nolde, Welt und Heimat, Köln 1965, p. 47).
In documenting his experiences, the painter sought to capture the characteristic elements with a rapid stroke in order to enable those who had remained back home to catch a glimpse of strange worlds. There on the Yangtze River and China Seas, he created watercolours of junks on paper previously purchased in Japan. Hieroglyphically abbreviated in a manner similar to Chinese characters, the outlines of the Chinese junks undulate on the yellow water; in their rhythmic sequence, they simultaneously visualise hectic commotion and East Asian contemplative calm.


Photo-certificate from Manfred Reuther, Klockries, from 26 February 2022. The work is regsitered under 'Nolde A - 231/2022' in his archive.


Private property, Baden-Württemberg