Vente: 514 / Evening Sale 11 décembre 2020 à Munich Lot 208

 
208
Emil Nolde
Schauspielerin (recto) / Piazza S. Domenico II, Taormina (verso), 1919/1905.
Oil on canvas
Estimation:
€ 400,000 / $ 468,000
Résultat:
€ 500,000 / $ 585.000

(25% frais d'adjudication compris)
Description de l'objet
Schauspielerin (recto) / Piazza S. Domenico II, Taormina (verso). 1919/1905.
Oil on canvas.
Urban 829/Urban 154. Signed in upper right and signed and dated in lower right. 52.5 x 40 cm (20.6 x 15.7 in). [SM].

• Emil Nolde does not just paint faces, he paints types.
• Nolde paints his vis-à-vis with an immediacy of expression, unfiltered-- a creation fully born from instinct.
• Emil Nolde is captivated by his model, who challenges the artist with her convincing and strong ways
.

PROVENANCE: Art trader Alfred Heller, Berlin-Charlottenburg.
Curt Schueler (1877-1962), Berlin (around 1920, until before spring 1942).
Conrad Doebbeke, Berlin/Hanover (presumably since 1943/45, until 1953).
Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (acquired from aforementioned in 1953, until 2019).
Restituted to the heirs of Curt Schueler (2019).
Ever since family-owned.
The work was restituted to the heirs of Curt Schueler in 2019 and is free from any restitution claims.

EXHIBITION: First General German Art Exhibition, Museum of History, Moskau, 1924, no. 300 (Schauspielerin
Emil Nolde. Ölgemälde - Aquarelle - Zeichnungen - Graphik, Kongreßhalle Berlin, September 23 - October 12, 1962, no. 2 (Schauspielerin)
Düsseldorf, Kunstmuseum, 1900 - talets konstutveckling belyst genom 150 verk av 100 konstnärer, Konsthall Malmö, August 30 - November 2, 1980, no. 35 (Taormina).

"The people are my pictures." - Emil Nolde

Essay
From 1910, on religious topics and legends gained in importance in the artist's work and as a result, Emil Nolde became increasingly interested in painting portraits. He not only painted lively faces, but painted types: according to the artist, women and men became characters. In his portraits the artist does not just reflect his vis-a-vis; he wants to make the person more visible. This is also what happened when, as it was the case all so often, he dealt with the subject of “Mann und Weib” (Man and Woman, 1919, Urban 794), or described the relationship between “Fürst und Geliebte” (Prince and Beloved, 1918, Urban 797) and thus shows his interest in what might be called ‘dubious’ topics. The artist was taken with the "beloved", he would even immortalize her in another magnificent portrait and also revealed her name: Her name is Nadja! In the same year 1919 Emil Nolde painted further portraits, seven in number, including our “actress”. She faces Nolde head-on. Her bright blue eyes are open, her facial features are soft and suggest a slight smile. The mouth is slighty opened and painted in a fiery red lipstick; the thick, half-length brown hair parted. In his willingness to transmit immediate expressions, Nolde painted his counterpart, unfiltered and full of empathy. One can assume the individual is dressed in casual private clothes, that highlight her neckline, revealing her neck and leading the viewer towards her cleavage. Nolde understands his color palette as his strongest means of expression, as the actual medium of his artistic identity. It's not just the colorful flower pictures, the atmospheric marsh- and sea landscapes, the intense biblical and mythical scenes. Above all it is the portraits in which Nolde implements his idea of nativeness, and, as it is the case here, with an open directness and the most elementary simplicity of physiognomy. The intense gaze of the "actress" banters both the artist and the observer for an intensive exchange. The dualities of life are elementary to Nolde, which, in his own words, "always played an important role in my pictures [.] Together or against one another: man and woman, lust and suffering, god and devil" (quote from: Emil Nolde : Portraits, ex. cat., Ulm 2005, p. 76). Apart from the title label, we have no knowledge of the identity of the portrayed lady, Nolde won’t share her name with us. However, this was not always the case, as Nolde titled portraits created around the same time at the beginning of 1919 with the name of the portrayed person: They are called "Nadja" (Urban 830), "Vera" (Urban 831), "Marie" (Urban 832), " Ingeborg ”(Urban 835), but also “Italienerin”(Italian, Urban 834), “Rothaariges Mädchen ” (Red-haired girl, Urban 836) and “Schauspielerin ”(Actress, Urban 829). In his autobiography "Mein Leben" we come across a speculative indication of who the portrayed could be: “After the end of the war the freedom to travel again was restored, and so was the strong yearning to see friends and acquaintances again. We traveled to Denmark, resuming long-interrupted family visits. [.] My Ada's siblings, who lived in Kjellerup, Kolding and Copenhagen, had almost been alienated from us in terms of life and thinking during the war. The reunion was nice. [.] Painting was my better being, I painted again. I painted pictures of children and the beautiful sisters-in-law and also of the magical girl, the storyteller”, wrote Emil Nolde (Mein Leben, Cologne 1993, p. 330). Is the "actress" one of Ada’s sisters? Ada Vilstrup was an actress herself when she married Emil Nolde in 1902. And the magic girl? The storyteller, maybe Nadja? We cannot say for sure, it remains hidden in the realm of speculation.
According to Manfred Reuther, the long-time director of the Ada and Emil Nolde Foundation, Nolde's portrait of the "Schauspielerin" was created early January 1919 along with other portraits, in the Berlin studio on Tauentzienstrasse, the Nolde's winter residence, before they, perhaps around mid January, left for Denmark, where they had an official residence authorization until February 20th. But still in Berlin, Nolde restretched the canvas painted with a view of the square and used the back for the portrait. On the back of the portrait we find the view of the Piazza San Domenico painted in Taormina in 1905. Ada and Emil Nolde spend the milder winter in Sicily. But let‘s return to this fascinating portrait of a woman: “As the physiognomy, the type of representation and the general form of expression confirm, the portrait of the 'Schauspielerin' is not guided by free imagination, but is based on a specific person while its design follows all categories of the portrait. But the actual person depicted cannot yet be identified” stated Manfred Reuther in November 2020. Nevertheless, the impression remains: Emil Nolde was fascinated by his vis-a-vis, and painted the actress as person who challenges the artist with her powerful and convincing personality.
Piazza S. Domenico: The reverse side

The reverse of the “Schauspielerin” shows an early painting that was created during Ada and Emil Nolde's trip to Sicily in spring 1905: It shows the “Piazza S. Domenico” in Taormina. Even in those days the place, surrounded by mountains, volcanoes and the sea, was considered a glamorous travel destination. Impasto layers of paint form a relief-like surface modeled by a strong brushwork, the trees, the architectures in the lively design experience a sun-drenched, spring-like surface. Artistically, Nolde was still under the impressionistic influence of a Van Gogh, whose views of Arles may have accompanied Nolde's thoughts as he arranged the square, the buildings and trees, as well as the passers-by for the composition.
Provenance

Around 1920 Curt Schueler (1877-1962), a successful Berlin businessman, acquired this work from Emil Nolde. The exact date has not been documented, however, at an earlier point the the painting is verified with the art dealer Alfred Heller in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Schueler's collection includes works by Franz Marc, Paul Kleinschmidt, Franz Heckendorf and Jules Pascin. Curt and his wife Hilda Schueler received the deportation order in 1942. With the help of the painter Franz Heckendorf, however, both managed to escape to Sweden via Switzerland to live with their son Stefan, who had already emigrated there. They were forced to sell the work offered here. Neither the new owner nor the question of when and how the picture got into the ownership of Conrad Doebbeke can be clarified. The doctor of law, building contractor and real estate dealer acquired the painting for the Düsseldorf municipal collection in 1953. However, since Conrad Doebbeke is suspected of having bought more art objects from Jewish property during the Nazi era, the Kunstpalast put the painting on the “Lost Art” list as early as in 2015. On July 4, 2019, the city council of Düsseldorf decided to restitute Emil Nolde's two-sided painting to the heirs of Curt Schueler. With the restitution it answered to the claims of Kaj and Ronny Schueler, grandsons of the Berlin timber merchant. [MvL]
208
Emil Nolde
Schauspielerin (recto) / Piazza S. Domenico II, Taormina (verso), 1919/1905.
Oil on canvas
Estimation:
€ 400,000 / $ 468,000
Résultat:
€ 500,000 / $ 585.000

(25% frais d'adjudication compris)