Visible reality as starting point. Increasingly spread his
paint over the surface like a carpet in search for greater simplicity of
expression. Tools of impressionism with goal of ‘transforming nature by
infusing it with one’s own mind and spirit’
1908 took up finger painting again since his rejection of impressionism in 1903.
Born 7 August in Nolde, western part of north Schleswig, on
a farm in the family for nine generations, harsh elements. Reared with a simple
fundamentalist piety. As a child he heard the cries of animals as colors.
Sauermann school of carving in Flensburg until 1888. It was
a furniture factory.
Went to Karlsruhe and worked as a furniture carver.
Attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts)
Moved to Berlin to work as a design draughtsman in a furniture factory. Lots of drawing in the museums. Liked Egyptian and Assyrian art. No knowledge of contemporary art.
Until 98: Teacher at the Kunstgewerbeschule or
Gewerbemuseum at St. Gall, Switzerland. Taught ornamental draughtsman ship.
Discovered contemporary painting: Bocklin and Ferdinand Hodler. Mountain walks.
Postcards of great peaks as petrified heads sold and he quit his teaching post.
Application to Stuck’s class in Munich (where Kandinsky
and Klee were) turned down. Entered Fehr’s school and went to the studio of
Adolf Hoelzel in Dachau
Visited Paris for nine months.
Summer: returned to his homeland. Following years in Copenhagen and various places in Denmark and Schleswig, and a short period in Berlin.
Took the name Nolde
Settled on the island of Alsen.
“I had innumerable visions at this time; wherever I
looked, Nature was alive, the sky, the clouds, on every stone and among the
branches of the trees, everywhere my creatures stirred and lived their still or
wild, lively lives, arousing my excitement and crying out to be painted.”
Spent summers from this year forward on the island of Alsen.
Becomes well acquainted with Munch, Gauguin and van Gogh. Use of brilliant colours and spontaneous brushwork.
Applied paint with brush, fingers and scraps of card
Member of the
Brucke, which had formed the year before, for a year
and a half participating in the
exhibitions of 1906 and 1907. Invited to join so he
enthusiastically quit his isolation. Taught surface etching. (p. 59 The
Expressionists) He learned woodcut and lithography. But felt the Brucke failed
to become an alliance of all good young artists.
Got to know Karl Ernst Osthaus, founder of the Folkwang-Museum.
In Hamburg he gained the friendship and patronage of the provincial Chief
Justice, Gustav Schiefler, connected with Munch and the Brucke, and who later
catalogued the graphics of Munch, Kirchner and Nolde.
Exhibited at the Berlin Secession (Harvest Day of
1904). Beginning to gain recognition.
tried to form a new group in which he would recruit
Christian Rohlfs, Pierre Roy, Munch, Matisse, Beckmann, and Schmidt-Rottluff.
had a severe illness. Religious painting. First: The Last Supper
Expelled from the
Berlin Secession. They rejected his Pentecost.
Provoked attacks from Nolde, prolonged quarrel, expulsion. Co founded
That summer he worked in the port of Hamburg
Winter – paintings of restaurants, cabarets and cafes,
Attempted, unsuccessfully to take on leadership of the Neue
1911 and 1912 – nine part Life of Christ. Art of
primitive peoples significant. Brought to his attention in Dresden, but now very
concerned with fundamental sensations
Started work on a book Kunstausserungen deer Naturbolker (Artistic expressions of primitive peoples) “The absolute originality, the intense, often grotesque expression of force and life in the very simplest form, that may well be what gives us pleasure in these aboriginal works’
The museum in Halle bought The Last Supper. Disagreements among the museum’s directors. Folkwang Museum in Hagen showed The Life of Christ, but the plan to do so at the Brussels International Exhibition was frustrated by ecclesiastical opposition. Nolde becomes increasingly withdrawn and from 13 onwards was hardly prepared to take part in exhibitions..
Took part in an Imperial Colonial Office expedition to New
Guinea. Returned shortly after the war broke out.
Withdrew to homeland, western Schlewig. Simple life of relaxation and security. Developed a particular thematic and formal framework imbued with peaceful radiance and stability. Avoided contact with contemporary art.
Now summers spent in Utewarf moving forward
visited England, Spain and France
Moved to Seebull.
60th birthday: first major exhibition of his work.
Member of the Prussian Academyof Arts
1052 works confiscated
Forbidden to paint
Died 13 April at Seebull
1. The Expressionists.
Wolf-Dieter Dube, trans by Mary Whittall. Thames and Hudson, 1972.