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Emil Nolde 1867-1956 | German expressionist painter | The Die Brücke Group

Born to a peasant family, he carved wood for a living and came late to painting. Though briefly a member of Die Brücke 1906-07, he was essentially a solitary painter. Fervently religious and racked by a sense of sin, he created such works as Dance Around the Golden Calf 1910, in which the figures' erotic frenzy and demonic faces are rendered with deliberately crude draftsmanship and dissonant colours. On an ethnological expedition to the East Indies 1913-14, he was impressed by the power of the art he saw there. Back in Europe, he produced brooding landscapes and colourful flowers. As a printmaker he was noted especially for the stark black-and-white effect of his crudely incised woodcuts.