Painting of the Week / Thomas Abbs

Painting of the Week: 91

Emil Nolde (1867-1956), Ripe Rose Hips, undated, watercolour, 45.6 x 34 cm, Nolde Stiftung Seebüll.

Some people are quieter and more pensive than others. Emil Nolde was such a guy. Some people too are prone to become more rhapsodic at the sight of flowers in bloom than others. Emil Nolde was also such a guy (the guy was many things). Easy on the mind and easy on the eye, in the lovely Ripe Rose Hips (undated) the scarlet fruits dangle among a tangle of yellow, green and mauve leaves. Though our love for flowers is predominantly sensory, for Nolde they were – aside from being beautiful – representative of his pantheistic relationship with nature and his curiosity in the cycle of life. So while the painting burgeons, blossoms and radiates, it is also imbued with tenderness and solicitude as the drooping fruits inch closer towards their destiny as compost. So yeah, pensive and rhapsodic. TA

Emil NoldeFor more Emil Nolde, get yourself a copy of Emil Nolde: Artist of the Elements, which is the first ever English language introduction to one of the twentieth-century’s greatest painters.

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