Gebirgslandschaft mit Tannenbaum signed 'Nolde' (lower right) watercolor on Japan paper 14 1/8 x 18 1/8in. (36 x 46cm)
PROVENANCE Irving Galleries, Milwaukee. Acquired from the above by the late owner.
Prior to 1902 Emil Hansen Nolde was a wood carver and draughtsman for furniture makers in Karlsruhe, Berlin and Munich. It was after a time as a technical draughtsman teacher for a trade and industrial museum that the artist went on several hiking treks in and around Vienna. The trees and mountains Nolde captured were made into a series of paintings, which were published as postcards and this success lead the artist to become a painter instead. In 1899, Nolde began his studies at L'Academie Julian in Paris, where exposure to the works of van Gogh, Gauguin, and other important Post-Impressionists solidified his position as a painter.
The present painting is a very fine example of Nolde's personification of the natural elements. The isolated tree in the foreground is imbued with life and movement. Particularly the use of a single arbor is a great departure from how other western painters of the early 20th Century would have approached landscapes. This treatment is more indicative of Japanese printmaking with its use of tonal colors and cropped perspective, which Nolde would have been aware of during his time in Paris. In the sky, the halo effect of the clouds provides a delicate counterbalance to the earth and trees of the mountain.
"What an artist learns matters little. What he himself discovers has a real worth for him, and gives him the necessary incitement to work." - Emil Nolde
Please note that this lot has been withdrawn and will be reoffered at a later time.
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