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Emil Nolde

Autumn Sea XII (Blue Water, Orange Clouds)

oil on jute
1910
74,2 x 89,6 cm / 29 1/4 x 35 1/4 in.
signed lower right

The sea had always fascinated Nolde and played an important role in his oeuvre. The vastness of the indomitable sea symbolizes the nativeness and unpredictability of creation more than any other landscape. Nolde spent the summer of 1910 in Ruttebüll on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein and soon after began a series which he titled „Herbstmeer“ (Autumn Sea), to which he added Roman numerals. Until November 1910 he painted fourteen of these works, another six in the following year. Sitting in a shed on the beach, he immersed himself in the colours of the sky and sea, transferring them to the canvas. Colour is the defining element of these paintings, the subject is pushed to the back, almost to abstraction; the application of colour and the brushstroke vary from pastose and animate to glazing. In the painting „Autumn Sea XII“, sky and sea are in sharp contrast. In the foreground the choppy sea is white, towards the horizon it becomes darker and meets the yellow and greenish evening sky, dominated by orange-red clouds and yellowish-green streaks of light. The impression is powerful, but not threatening, there may have been a thunder-storm which has passed, dispersed by the sun, which is just about to set. Provenance available

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