Emil Nolde was born Emil Hansen in Nolde the German-Danish border in 1867. In later life, he changed his name to the name of his town for the sake of his art. His talent shows from an early age, when as a young boy he completed an apprenticeship doing woodwork in 1884. He excelled, and he liked the work enough to later enroll in curving school until 1888. He later attended the Karlsruhe School of Applied Arts and he started to make furniture designs for businesses in Munich and Karlsruhe.
In 1890, he went to Berlin, and he started to work as an art teacher in the Museum of Industry and Commerce in St. Gallen, which had an art school within it. Emil Nolde started to make caricatures of the Swiss Mountains, and he successfully had them published in postcards. He got enough money to make him financially secure for years. In 1898, he enrolled in the school of Friedrich Fehr to study painting, and later he want to Dachau. At this time, he had some money, but he was far from what were called the great painters of the day. He had self-doubt about his ability, but he carried on studying and painting.
In 1900, he went to Paris, to the Academie Julian. In 1901, he went to Berlein and there he set up his own studio. Unfortunately, before he could get much done, he came down with tuberculosis and he had to go and stay with his parents at their farm in Alsen until 1903. In 1904, he went to Italy and in 1906 was able to exhibit at there. He continued to be a loner, but one who expressed himself strongly. He was to pay for this later when his works were banned in Germany. Until his death, Emil Nolde continued to paint small watercolors.
Daniel Richter: On Emil Nolde