Mädchen mit blauem Haar. Um 1920. Watercolor. Signed in lower right. On Japon. 44.8 x 34.3 cm (17.6 x 13.5 in), size of sheet. [SM]. • The portrait of the young lady solely grew from the colors' free flow without preliminary drawing or graphic elements. • Through the immediacy of expression Nolde captures his vis-à-vis in an inimitable intensity. • Privately-owned fro 70 years.
With a photo expertise issued by Prof. Dr. Manfred Reuther, Klockries, from May 7, 2021. The work is registered in his archive with the number "Nolde A - 209/2021".
PROVENANCE: Private collection Switzerland (since the 1950s) Private collection Switzerland (inherited from above).
"The watercolors, the final measure of [Nolde’s] directness and spontaneity, are among the best in Modern art. [Nolde] always felt the painter should paint first and think afterward" (Bernard S. Myers, Expressionism: A Generation in Revolt, London 1963, p. 128.)
In his portrait art Emil Nolde was fascinated by the individuality of his counterpart. The lively expression that defines these facial features with the red cheeks and which becomes most obvious in the challenging look, is assigned to a personality that clearly impressed Nolde with the power of her bright charisma. The differentiated characterization of people and their impressive typification is a special quality of his watercolors and show his intensive approach. Nolde's life between the metropolis of Berlin and the landscape in the north, his excursions in the surroundings of his home, and, last but not least, the journey to the distant South Seas offered the artist stimulating models for his wide range of physiognomies. One can, of course, try to identify this striking pictorial account of a girl in profile in comparable watercolors, paintings with references to the unknown, such as the slightly pointed, delicate chin, the full-bodied lips under the pointed, expressive nose and the hair dyed in a shade of blue. Sure, for Nolde it is important to have real characters as models, in order to highlight their distinctive profiles and characteristics while still acting freely, also to invent faces in a classic portrait style, similar to the types, phenotypes, that show personal characteristics, similar to a landscape or similar to flowers in his flower beds and and gardens. Nolde's artistic language is peppered with a delicate mood, his painting is passionately boosted to the point that it appears to be an archaic stylization. Thus, this portrait, with its subtly chosen colors, fits in with the artist's fascinating oeuvre of intensive watercolors of landscapes, touching watercolors with religious themes, emphatic South Seas studies and the wonderful flower pictures. [MvL]