Emil Nolde

German (1867 - 1956)
Emil Nolde Kopf [Head] 1913 © Nolde Stiftung Seebüll

Biography

Born 1867
Died 1956
Nationality German

Emil Hansen was born in Nolde, a town which is now on the Danish side of the Danish-German border. He changed his surname to Nolde when he was in his late thirties. Nolde's style was highly influential for younger expressionist painters such as Kirchner. He loved the art of primitive peoples but was also interested in creating a style of painting that was specifically German. From 1906 to 1908, he was a member of the Brücke group of expressionist artists, but he preferred on the whole not to be associated with a group.

Glossary terms

  • German Expressionist group that was based in Dresden, then Berlin, from 1903 to 1913. The name indicates a forward-looking approach, their art viewed as a bridge to the future. They are noted for their revival of the woodcut.

  • The term Degenerate Art (German: Entarte Kunst), was coined in the 1930s by the Nazis to ridicule modern art that did not fit with Hitler’s vision.  Confiscated by the German government, exhibitions of "Degenerate" artworks took place in cities including Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig. In addition to this ridicule, the Mazi's forbade artists branded with the term from exhibiting or holding teaching posts.

  • A style that made an impact in the arts in the 1920s, particularly in Germany. Expressionists abandoned realistic, accurate representations in favour of exaggerations and distortions of line and colour that were intended to carry far greater emotional impact.