Emil Nolde

Emil Nolde pays homage to dance as one of the few forms of expression that are entirely subject to spontaneous emotion. For example, he finds dancing couples in ballrooms and cafés in Berlin, paints Wild tanzende Kinder (Wild Dancing Children) in 1910 and the rapturous Tanz um das Goldene Kalb (Dance around the Golden Calf) in 1912; he intensifies the ecstatic element with the painting Kerzentänzerinnen (Candle Dancers), also from 1912, translating scenes into color lithographs, or repeatedly conjuring up women swaying and dancing, as shown here. The two naked dancers in light poses no longer seem of this world; they embody the transition into the sphere of dreamlike fantasy. Nolde confers something doll-like upon the dancers and correspondingly shows them in the appropriate scale in front of violet and blue flowering hyacinths. It is not a wild performance, but rather the happy encounter between two young dancers. Nolde understands wonderfully how to lend a calm and intimate charm to the transitory moment between the dancers in front of the stage-like arrangement of flowerpots.

Dr. Mario-Andreas von Lüttichau

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