Emil Nolde, Moonlit Night, 1914
Emil Nolde (1867-1956) was a German-Danish Expressionist painter and printmaker, and a member of the influential Expressionist group, Die Brücke (The Bridge). Best known for brightly colored portraits and peasant scenes (with a Primitivist slant) and for his interest in flowers, this work is a bit different. In fact to me, this painting lives up to the name Die Brücke, for it bridges the Impressionist sensibility with the Expressionist lens. This night scene manages to blend Impressionism's fidelity to the scene with the type of brushwork and coloring favored by Expressionism, and it is the marriage of these elements that gives the piece its poweer. I love this painting because the color and brushwork blend so seamlessly, which conveys the ambiance and character of the scene Nolde captured. I am particularly taken with the depth and variation Nolde created with such a limited palette.