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Lot 3244 - A205 Impressionist & Modern Art - Friday, 23. June 2023, 04.30 PM


(Nolde 1867–1956 Seebüll)
Zinnias and Peonies. Circa 1925–30.
Watercolour on Japan paper.
Signed lower left: Nolde.
23 × 28 cm.

The work is registered in the archive of the Nolde Stiftung Seebüll under no. Fr.A.1034.

- Private collection Germany.
- Auction Galerie Wolfgang Ketterer, Munich, 26.–30.5.1975, lot 1438.
- Galerie Rosenbach, Hanover, acquired at the above auction.
- Private collection Basel.

Emil Nolde was not primarily a flower painter, yet flowers were among his earliest subjects and continually shaped his artistic production from the beginning to the end. This motif was probably crucial in developing his unique use of colour, which he then applied to his landscapes and became the most important means of expression in his art.
The flower watercolour from around 1925/30 presented here confirms this: the flowers neither serve as a background for figures nor as accompanying decoration. There is no vase, no long flower stems; the dominant red and orange flower heads fill the entire sheet, except for a few isolated patches of blue in the upper right corner and along the left edge, and are even partially cropped by the edge of the picture. The picture is the flower. Additionally, the blossoms are depicted from a highly elevated viewpoint, making them appear even larger.
The great power of flowers captured in full bloom is – immortalised in paint on paper, as opposed to nature – everlasting.
Nolde himself wrote: 'Flowers bloom for people's enjoyment. I paint them in the summer, carrying the joy they inspire into the winter' (Urban, p. 7, translated from German).

CHF 80 000 / 120 000 | (€ 82 470 / 123 710)

Sold for CHF 134 500 (including buyer’s premium)
All information is subject to change.