EMIL NOLDE: “SMALL SUNFLOWERS”, PAINTING 1946
Donated by Dr. Friedrich Johenning in loving memory of his wife Renate Johenning
The highlight of the 63rd Annual Exhibition is the outstanding painting “Small Sunflowers” from the year 1946. An important late work, it can be traced to one of the so-called “Unpainted Pictures”, and glows with a special magic. It epitomises pure harmony, both in its colour composition as well as in the appearance of the girl with the two sunflowers. This enchanted painting, with its brightness and warmth, seems to come to us from another world and sets us dreaming. The painting only recently came to enrich the Nolde Foundation Seebüll’s collection, as a donation from Dr. Friedrich Johenning. Together with his wife Renate, who passed away in 2018, Dr. Friedrich Johenning, a Düsseldorf businessman, built up an extraordinary collection of German Expressionist works over the past forty years, with a main focus on Emil Nolde. In loving memory of his wife Renate, he has donated the painting “Small Sunflowers” to the Nolde Foundation Seebüll.
Dr. Hans-Joachim Throl, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, gratefully acknowledges the donation: “Our foundation’s Board of Trustees has accepted this donation with the utmost gratitude, and has taken the irrevocable decision to add the painting to the inalienable inventory of works left by Emil Nolde which are a part of the endowment assets of the Ada and Emil Nolde Foundation Seebüll. The wonderful painting ‘Small Sunflowers’ will thereby forever remain in the care of our foundation. And it will be inseparably connected with the memory of Dr. Friedrich Johenning and his dear wife Renate, who both so loved to visit Seebüll together.”
Dr. Christian Ring, Director of the Nolde Foundation, added: “Dr. Friedrich Johenning’s contribution touches us deeply and we are more than thankful. It is the most significant donation to be bestowed upon the Nolde Foundation Seebüll in its sixty-three year history. This donation is also a symbol of the trust placed in us, and of the high regard in which our work is held. This fills us with pride, and with great gratitude towards Renate and Dr. Friedrich Johenning”.
The donation will be honoured in a publication of its own, which will appear in May.