Emil Nolde

Emil Nolde’s flower paintings allow him the greatest possible freedom to let his color fantasies run wild. In these works, the artist can realize his ideas about color to the greatest degree of abstraction, without having to give up their attachment to nature. Nolde’s flower paintings are ideas with a loose connection to nature, so to speak, a permanent foundation of his work. Even though the subject of these paintings has remained constant over the years, every flower painting is completely different in its significance. The poppy, the tulip, the hyacinth, and the other flowers—they do not so much embody a botanical study as a mood between individual flower beings that stand like statues in the flower garden, waiting to please the artist. Nolde wants to get as close as possible to the luxuriant splendor of the delicate petals of the dainty poppy or the tulip. In order to realize his idea in watercolors, he captures the character of the individual plants, and is interested in applying paint and light with a certain amount of imprecision to expressly avoid the sharp detail of the bloom; Nolde wishes to shift the sphere of the irrefutable and the dematerialized into the distance. At times, Nolde contradicts himself: the Madonna figure is quite real and part of an extensive collection of devotional objects that the artist has collected over the years, which enliven his floral still lifes.

Dr. Mario-Andreas von Lüttichau

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