Sunset over the Lake

probably after 1920
(German, 1876–1956)
Support: Yellow-brown modern laid (or Japanese?) paper tipped on to blue modern laid paper
Sheet: 34.5 x 47.6 cm (13 9/16 x 18 3/4 in.); Secondary Support: 38.7 x 54.9 cm (15 1/4 x 21 5/8 in.)
Location: not on view
This artwork is known to be under copyright.

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Emil Nolde’s watercolors encapsulate the Expressionists’ quest for spontaneity and immediacy, and for painting by instinct rather than by adhering to traditional landscape structure. Throughout his life, Nolde made watercolors depicting the coast of the North Sea near his home. He used vivid colors to transform reality—evident in the three watercolors on view here—hoping to reveal nature’s power and magnetism. Working outdoors, Nolde considered his watercolors to be collaborations with nature: “I painted the white snow as it fell, and the finished or half-finished pictures lay around covered by the snow itself. . . . I loved to find nature collaborating in this way—a natural unity embracing the painter, his subject and the picture.”
Sunset over the Lake

Sunset over the Lake

probably after 1920

Emil Nolde

(German, 1876–1956)
Germany, 20th century

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