About this artwork
When Emil Nolde painted Red-Haired Girl, a closely cropped figure depicted with palpable emotion and fiery color, he was already widely acknowledged as a leading Expressionist artist. One year later, he joined the National Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party, which eventually denounced paintings in this style.
Red-Haired Girl, along with hundreds of other works by Nolde, was confiscated by the Nazis in 1937 and displayed as an example of “degenerate art” in the infamous Entartete Kunst exhibition, which ridiculed modern art as morally corrupt and celebrated the party’s systemic attacks on artists. Despite the denunciation of his work, Nolde maintained his affiliation with the Nazis throughout the war. While Max Beckmann and Marc Chagall, whose works are on view on adjacent walls, were forced to defect from Europe and Otto Dix was arrested as an “unreliable intellectual” for his anti-fascist protests, Nolde remained aligned with the Nazis. He sought their approval and embraced their ideology while also arguing that paintings like this were “vigorous, durable, and ardent.”
- Emil Nolde
- Red-Haired Girl
- Oil on canvas
- Signed, l.r.: "Emil Nolde."
- 25 3/4 × 15 3/4 in. (65.4 × 40 cm)
- Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. George H. Tagge