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Tänzerinnen (Dancers)

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Tänzerinnen (Dancers)
  • Description

    Dancers; two women in long dresses dancing with heads thrown back. 1917 Woodcut

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1917
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 238 millimetres
    • Width: 309 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Signed in pencil
  • Curator's comments

    Text from Frances Carey and Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', BM 1984, no. 113

    We learn from the introduction to Schiefler's catalogue and in a letter written from Berlin on 28 December 1915 ('Briefe', p. 119) that Nolde and his wife printed all the impressions of his woodcuts, with the exception of a few which were published in large commercial editions and those that were used as book illustrations. This impression demonstrates that it was the care needed to print these images that forced them to do so. The block is so heavily inked as to print as a solid black in most dark areas. But in the space between the two figures it has been carefully wiped away so as to reveal the grain of the block. In the same way, the block in the area of the two dresses has been left almost completely uninked, so that the design is carried almost entirely by blind-stamping. The very considerable relief imparted to the paper can be clearly seen in a raking light and on the verso of the sheet. A consequence of such careful inking is that no two impressions of the print will be exactly similar, and in fact Nolde seems to have deliberately varied the inking of his impressions to produce a variety of effects. None of the other printmakers of the Brücke used blind-stamping in the same way as Nolde, and indeed it is very rarely found in the Western woodcut tradition, unlike the Japanese (in which context it is usually referred to by the French term 'gaufrage').
    There does not seem to be any painting related to this composition, which clearly relates in a generalised way to Nolde's interest in primitive art. Some account of his collection, which is preserved at Seebüll, can be found in the exhibition catalogue, 'Emil Nolde, Maske und Figuren', Kunsthalle Bielefeld 1971, which includes reproductions of several drawings Nolde made after these works. The fullest available account of the South Seas journey of 1913-14 is in the catalogue of an exhibition held by the Nationalgalerie in East Berlin in 1984.


  • Bibliography

    • Schiefler 132 bibliographic details
  • Location

    German XXc Mounted Roy

  • Exhibition history

    1984/5 Sept.-Jan., BM, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', BM 1984, no. 113

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


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Object reference number: PPA8335

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