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Artists Emil Nolde
Emil Nolde Photo

Emil Nolde

German-Danish Painter, Printmaker, Watercolorist

Movements and Styles: Die Brücke, Expressionism, Der Blaue Reiter

Born: August 7, 1867 - Nolde, Denmark

Died: April 13, 1956 - Seebüll, Neukirchen, Germany

Emil Nolde Timeline

Quotes

"Everything that passed before one's eyes awakens the whole gamut that lies between joy and suffering, happiness and unhappiness."
Emil Nolde
"Not long ago only a few artistic periods were thought suitable for museums. Then they were joined by exhibitions of Coptic and early Christian art, Greek terracottas and vases, Persian and Islamic art. Buy why is Indian, Chinese and Javanese art still classified under ethnology or anthropology? Any why is the art of primitive peoples not considered art at all?"
Emil Nolde
"There is silver blue, sky blue and thunder blue. Every color holds within it a soul, which makes me happy or repels me, and which acts as a stimulus. To a person who has no art in him, colors are colors, tones tones and that is all. All their consequences for the human spirit, which range between heaven to the hell, just go unnoticed."
Emil Nolde

"I want so much for my work to grow forth out of the material just as in nature the plants grow forth out of the earth"

Emil Nolde Signature

Synopsis

Like the movement with which he was associated, Die Brücke, Emil Nolde's art creates a bridge from Germany's distant visual past to its more radical future. From medieval times until the onset of Romanticism in the early 19th century, the northern tradition, particularly in Christian religious images, was distinguished by an emotional quality that later, under the influence of Protestantism, was tempered by didactic characteristics. Under the influence of Romantic artists, traditional sacred iconography eroded into secular images that have been interpreted as imbued with mystical, spiritual overtones. Nolde, who was raised in the Protestant faith and grounded in readings from the Bible, turned away from these romantic depictions and back to biblical texts for visual inspiration. This restoration of specific, Christian imagery, whether executed as a painting or print, in a new, colorful style was not only a hallmark of his oeuvre but an important contribution to Expressionism and the northern visual arts tradition

Key Ideas

Nolde reintroduced religious subject matter, which had been a typical mainstay of northern art for hundreds of years. His interpretation retained the German predilection for expressive images but they were not rendered in a realistic style. Although based on biblical incidents from both the Old and New Testaments, his compositions abstracted and exaggerated forms to delineate figures in a compressed space, bypassing the use of traditional linear perspective to relate the story.
In addition to rethinking the use of these basic elements of art, Nolde seized upon color and used it in a bold, symbolic way that was new to the northern style of painting. He carried these ideas over into his watercolor paintings and injected them with a vitality that was previously not associated with the medium.
Emil Nolde is often viewed as an isolated figure in modern art, which would seem to mitigate his influence. Perhaps this is because of his self-imposed distance from organized art groups and his support for and later condemnation by the Nazi party. Nevertheless, his work is invariably included in discussions of German Expressionism and northern painting.
Nolde's well-honed skill as a wood-cutter allowed him to apply the principles of expressionism and abstraction marked particularly by strong contrast to the print medium as well, thus distinguishing him in another genre — printmaking - as well as painting.

Biography

Emil Nolde Photo

Childhood, Education and Early Period

Emil Nolde (née Hansen) was born in Nolde, Denmark in 1867 to Protestant peasant farmers. As a child he felt that he had little in common with his three brothers, who took well to farm life. His first exposure to the arts came through a four-year apprenticeship as a woodcarver and furniture designer starting in 1884. He spent his early years as a young adult working in furniture factories and traveling through Germany, visiting cities like Munich and Berlin.

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Emil Nolde Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Emil Nolde
Interactive chart with Emil Nolde's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Paul GauguinPaul Gauguin
Vincent van GoghVincent van Gogh
James EnsorJames Ensor
Albrecht DürerAlbrecht Dürer

Personal Contacts

Gustav Schiefler
Karl Ernst Osthaus

Movements

Post-ImpressionismPost-Impressionism

Influences on Artist
Emil Nolde
Emil Nolde
Years Worked: 1884 - 1956
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Karl Schmidt-RottluffKarl Schmidt-Rottluff
Wassily KandinskyWassily Kandinsky
Cheng-Khee Chee

Personal Contacts

Gustav Schiefler
Karl Ernst Osthaus

Movements

ExpressionismExpressionism

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Content compiled and written by Ximena Kilroe

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Ximena Kilroe
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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