Nolde, Emil

Nolde, Emil Biography

Original name Emil Hansen German expressionist painter known for his violent religious artworks and his foreboding landscapes. Nolde's contorted brushwork, and raw, strident colors were intended to give the viewer a visual and emotional shock.

Emil Nolde was influenced primarily by Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and James Ensor, whose tortured visions and color experiments he carried to new frontiers. A trip to New Guinea in 1913 and 1914 crystallized his taste for the qualities of tribal art, including brutal distortions of form, bold surface patterns, and contrasting colors. His style changed little throughout his career, and he concentrated principally on landscapes and on interior scenes with human figures. His landscapes, such as March (1916, Kunstmuseum, Basel), were brooding and ominous, and his peopled scenes, such as The Reveler (1919, St?dtische Galerie, Hannover), present human faces as grotesque masks of crude basic emotions. Although Nolde was an early advocate of Germany's National Socialist Party, when the Nazis came to power, they declared his art work "decadent" and forbade him to paint.

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