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Emil Nolde

Village by the Polder

watercolour on Japan paper
c. 1930
34 x 45 cm / 13 3/8 x 17 3/4 in.
signed lower right

Nolde loved the wide sky above the flat land and the fast changing weather of Schleswig-Holstein, where he was born and grew up. The Seebüll house, which he had designed himself and where he and Ada had moved in 1928, was not far from his birth place. During the time of the national socialist working ban, he painted there solely in watercolours, for he was afraid that the smell of oil paint would give away the fact that he was painting. The motif of the present watercolour is the view of the Aventoft village as seen from the opposite shore of the Ruttebüll lake (today in Denmark). The distinctive spire of the church is clearly visible. Here the artist has captured a dramatic sunset, which colours the sky, in which only the uppermost clouds still have a reddish glow, in a deep purple, which in turn is reflected in the water. Nolde had experienced an important artistic breakthrough on the Danish fisher island of Alsen, where he and his wife Ada lived from 1903 to 1916. There, he discovered the depth of colour, and it became his central vehicle of artistic expression. "Yellow can paint happiness and pain. There is flame-red, blood-red and roseate. You have silver-blue, sky-blue and storm-blue. Each colour bears its own soul, to delight, disgust or animate me." The exquisitely colourful watercolours of that time prove him to be the most accomplished watercolour painters of the 20th century. Provenance available

Price on request

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