Emil Nolde - Meerlandschaft mit Dampfer und Segelboot - image-1
Emil Nolde - Meerlandschaft mit Dampfer und Segelboot - image-2
Emil Nolde - Meerlandschaft mit Dampfer und Segelboot - image-1Emil Nolde - Meerlandschaft mit Dampfer und Segelboot - image-2

Lot 4 N

Emil Nolde - Meerlandschaft mit Dampfer und Segelboot

Auction 1200 - overview Cologne
01.06.2022, 18:00 - Evening Sale - Modern and Contemporary Art
Estimate: 120.000 € - 150.000 €
Result: 113.400 € (incl. premium)

Emil Nolde

Meerlandschaft mit Dampfer und Segelboot

Watercolour on Japan paper. 21.6 x 26 cm. Signed 'Nolde' lower right in ink. - In fine condition.

The watercolour occupies a prominent place within the work of Emil Nolde: it could almost be referred to as a trademark. Compared with oil painting, it is a medium that can be utilised much more freely and spontaneously and can be employed almost anywhere. Thus Nolde - seated in the dark auditorium and equipped with his box of watercolours and small sheets of paper - recorded numerous theatre and concert scenes during his stay in Berlin in 1910. Painting in watercolours became more important as a medium which could be rapidly put to use during the medical-demographic expedition of 1913/1914, to which the painter was invited in order to visually record this voyage serving scientific purposes. It brought him to German New Guinea by way of China and Japan, among other places. In the China Seas, he was fascinated not just by the atmospheric play of the shifting light and colour, but also by the characteristic forms of the ships and junks.
“The watercolour provides the greatest freedom and nevertheless simultaneously denies almost any possibility of correction […]. Rapid decisions […] are just as important as patience while waiting. […] The watercolour is a worthy medium in the hands of a genius when it is a matter of the intrinsic value and immateriality of colour and expression” (Nils Ohlsen, Magier des Aquarells, in: Astrid Becker/Christian Ring (ed.), Emil Nolde. Glühender Farbrausch, Cologne 2018, p. 14).
The interest in motifs related to the sea and shipping stirred in the context of the South Pacific expedition continued to influence Nolde's subsequent work. It is also readily apparent in the watercolour offered here which was created in 1946 in St Peter within a series of sea pieces. Sharply delineated, the little red sail of the boat - as the only solid, coloured body within the gentle profusion of fluidly merging, seemingly exotic colours in a spectrum of blue-turquoise and violet-pink-orange - establishes a spatial relationship between itself and the steamer smoking along in black.

The German Ufa-actor Mathias Wiemann received the watercolour on the occasion of Nolde's 80th birthday in 1947. They had already met each other and became friends in 1942 in Vienna (cf. for Nolde's stay in Vienna: Emil Nolde, Reisen. Ächtung. Befreiung 1919-1946, Cologne 1967, p. 127 ff.). The 1946 painting "Zwiegespräch" was also created for Wiemann (Martin Urban, Emil Nolde, Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde, Munich 1990, no. 1277).


Photo-certificate from Manfred Reuther, Klockries, from 22 March 2022. The work is registered in his archive under 'Nolde A - 239/2022'.


Received directly from the artist, Matthias Wiemann, Potsdam/Zurich; thenceforth family property; private collection, Canada, by inheritance