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Nudes and Eunuch (Keeper of the Harem) ([Akte und Eunuch [Haremswächter])

In 1906, Emil Nolde joined the Expressionist Brücke group, which encouraged his use of loose brushwork and vivid color. The Brücke artists sought to infuse their work with the dynamism and energy they perceived in the Oceanic art displayed in Dresden’s ethnographic museum. Nolde shared this interest in the art of non-Western cultures, traveling to East Asia and the South Pacific in 1913. This painting, which predates that trip, is a modernist rendition of the Orientalist subject of the harem, a theme that had long signified the “other” and the “exotic” for European artists.

Emil Nolde
German, 1867–1956
Nudes and Eunuch (Keeper of the Harem) ([Akte und Eunuch [Haremswächter])
1912
Oil on canvas
34 3/8 x 28 3/8 in. (87.3 x 72.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Jane and Roger Wolcott Memorial, Gift of Thomas T. Solley, 76.70

Large image not available.