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Emil Nolde

Landscape (Petersen II)

oil on canvas
1924
73,5 x 106,5 cm / 29 x 42 in.
signed and titled on the stretcher

Between 1915 and 1926 Emil Nolde lived in Haus Utenwarf on the North Frisian-Danish west coast. It was located in the marshland near the city of Tondern, which is now Danish. Nolde often depicted the landscape around Utenwarf in paintings and watercolors during these years. The view shows the farm of Nolde's neighbor Boy Petersen and the nearby mill, a motif that he repeatedly depicted. Special attention is paid to the dramatic play of clouds, the dynamics of natural phenomena and the effects of reflections on the surface of the sea, the watercourses and the flooded marshland. The farm’s red brick buildings with the thatched roof, together with their reflection, serves not only as a compositional color contrast and accentuation of the landscape, which is otherwise depicted in green and blue tones, but also, like the almost black silhouette of the mill, serves to construct depth in the composition. Nolde is not primarily concerned with an anecdotal description of a particular region, but rather with the atmospheric peculiarity of the colors and the expression of a mood, so that a “landscape of the soul” is created rather than a topographical representation. Nolde succeeds in using only a few visual elements and almost purely painterly means to create an intensity that goes far beyond a simple landscape representation. Rather, in this painting, too, Nolde achieves the characteristic combination of symbolism and abstraction. Provenance available

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