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Emil Nolde


Aliases: Emil Hansen, Emil (1867) Hansen, Emil Hansen Nolde, Hans Emil Nolde

Painter, Etcher, Lithographer, Engraver, Sculptor, Flower painter, Still life painter

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(born 1867 Nolde, Germany; died 1956 Seebull, Germany) German painter. Originally named Emil Hansen, Emil Nolde trained to become a wood carver. Working during the day, Nolde took classes at night at the arts and crafts school and funded his career by painting a series of postcards from which he was able to make a large enough profit with to abandon woodcarving and devote his time solely to art. He changed his last name to the name of his birthplace when he married in 1902. In 1906 Nolde was invited by the members of the Die Brucke Movement to join them, but only stayed for a year despite their similar color palette and leanings towards primitivism. Nolde preferred to work on his own and did not like being associated with any one movement. Most of Nolde’s work consists of landscapes, seascapes, and scenes taken from his Northern German homeland, where he spent the majority of his life painting. In 1927 Nolde moved to Seebull in northern Germany, where he remained the rest of his life. In 1937 Nolde’s work became a highlight of Nazi Germany’s Degenerate Art exhibit, and in 1941 the Third Reich prohibited him from painting. Nevertheless Nolde continued to paint quite actively during this period, creating his famed ‘unpainted pictures’. Only after the war ended was Nolde acknowledged for his artistic achievements and as a result became the recipient of numerous awards. After his death his former residence at Seebull was converted into the Nolde Foundation, a museum of his work.

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