Emil Nolde

(Nolde (Schleswig-Holstein) 1867 - 1956 Seeb├╝ll (Schleswig-Holstein))

Emil Nolde, born Emil Hansen, is the son of farmers. After apprenticing as a woodcarver and furniture draftsman in Flensburg in 1884–88, he works in various furniture factories in Munich and Karlsruhe, where he takes evening classes at the School of Applied Arts. From 1892 until 1898, he teaches ornamental drawing and modeling at a vocational college in St. Gallen. He starts painting landscapes in watercolors. In 1899, he studies with the painter Adolf Hoelzel in Dachau; in 1900, at the Académie Julian in Paris. In 1901, Nolde moves to Berlin. From 1903 on, he regularly summers on the island of Als. Under the influence of the art of Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and James Ensor, his pictures show him gradually abandoning his earlier Romantic naturalism and adopting a more liberal use of color. In 1906–07, he is a member of the “Brücke” in Dresden. He produces his first religious work in 1909 and a series of scenes from Berlin nightlife in 1910–11. In 1911, he is expelled from the Berlin Secession. Nolde undertakes extensive studies into the art of indigenous people and, in 1913–14, participates in an exhibition to New Guinea. In 1926, he settles in Seebüll. The Nazis remove Nolde’s pictures from German museums in 1937, branding his art as “degenerate,” and in 1941 even forbid him from painting.