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Lot 3240 - A205 Impressionist & Modern Art - Friday, 23. June 2023, 04.30 PM


(Nolde 1867–1956 Seebüll)
Sea with sailors boat. 1946.
Watercolour on Japan paper.
Signed lower right: Nolde.
21.9 × 26 cm.

The work is registered in the archive of the Nolde Stiftung Seebüll under no. Fr.A.1430.

- Private collection Germany.
- Private collection Europe.
- Auction Sotheby's, London, 7.12.1977, lot 121.
- Galerie Rosenbach, Hanover, acquired at the above auction.
- Private collection Basel.

Nolde's late watercolours of the 1940s are characterised by a remarkable luminosity and intensity achieved through the use of bold colours and contrasting tones. In contrast to the early watercolour from 1920 (lot 3247), Nolde refrains from using black lines here, instead allowing the colours to flow directly into one another. This effect is further enhanced by the Japan paper, which he used for nearly all his watercolours.
The motif of a ship on the high seas is a recurring theme for the German artist, especially in his later work. For Nolde the ship is a symbol of travel, adventure, and discovery, but also of danger and instability. In his watercolours, ships are often metaphors for human life and its challenges, which can frequently be unpredictable and dangerous. It is, therefore, no surprise that the artist predominantly painted ships in the 1940s, against the backdrop of global wartime events and an uncertain future. At the same time, however, this motif can also have an underlying spiritual significance, alluding to a search for spiritual fulfilment and the hope for redemption and healing, which goes hand in hand with the overall spirituality of Nolde’s later years.

CHF 80 000 / 140 000 | (€ 82 470 / 144 330)

Sold for CHF 219 900 (including buyer’s premium)
All information is subject to change.