Candle Dancers (1912) by Emil Nolde

Candle Dancers - Emil Nolde - 1912

Artwork Information

TitleCandle Dancers
ArtistEmil Nolde
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions100.5 x 86.5 cm
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationNolde-Stiftung Seebull
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About Candle Dancers

Emil Nolde’s painting, Kerzentänzerinnen, is a vivid portrayal of primitive ritual dance. The title of the painting in German translates to ‘Candle Dancers’, which speaks to the main theme of the artwork. The scene is set at night, and each dancer wears a traditional folk costume with a mask. The illumination of the dancers is provided by the candles – it is this lighting that makes the painting so vivid and vibrant.

Kerzentänzerinnen was painted by artist Emil Nolde in 1912, and it is oil on canvas with measurements of 100.5 x 86.5 cm. This work captures a timeless moment in history when this traditional dance would be performed for special occasions or holidays. It is believed that Kerzentänzerinnen may have been painted in response to another painting by Nolde entitled Autumn Sea VII which was created in 1910. By juxtaposing these two works, one can compare and contrast Nolde’s treatment of light in both pieces, as well as his rendition of color and texture.

Spectators will be able to appreciate Emil Nolde’s artistry through exploring both his early paintings from 1910 such as Autumn Sea VII, as well as later works from 1912 like Kerzentänzerinnen. Comparing these two pieces will reveal great insights into his own artistic development over time and themes for which he was personally inspired by during his career.

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