By 1926, Nolde - at the age of 59 - was a mature and successful artist who had contributed greatly to the development of German Expressionism during the early years of the Brcke movement and who was now part of the artistic establishment. The following year, in 1927, an exhibition of 450 paintings and watercolours was held in Dresden at the Stdtisches Kunstausstellungsgebude which later travelled to the city museums of Hamburg, Kiel, Essen and Wiesbaden.
In April and November of 1926, Nolde visited his beloved marshes at Utenwarf for the last time, having been instructed by the Danish government that they had decided to drain the Wiedau marshes which, in Nolde's opinion, was an act of unnecessary desecration. During this period he executed a number of fine landscapes in oil celebrating both the beautiful landscape and the enormous skies of the area. There exist a number of dramatic landscape paintings executed in 1925 and 1926, notably a magnificent picture entitled Windhosen (Whirlwinds) which was confiscated in 1941 and is considered to have been destroyed in the war (U. 1033). Here the focus is entirely on the drama of the on-coming whirlwind; in the present picture Nolde focuses on the enormity of the stacked cloud formation above the workers in the fields. There is no question that in the pictures of this period Nolde is most interested in capturing the dramatic effects of cloud, rain and sunshine on the enormous skies of Utenwarf. Aside from other oils designed to capture the forces of nature such as Weisse Wolken (U. 1034) there exist a small group of lithographs of 1926 of clouds and sky formations (Schiefler L. 78, 80 & 81).
Much has been written about Nolde's seascapes and his magnificent flower pictures but few art historians have had a detailed look at these spectacular Northern landscapes in oil. Certainly the late landscape watercolours have attracted a great deal of attention, but the oils offer a sense of tremendous tension which is simply not possible to achieve in watercolour. Here the texture of the canvas and the thick application of the oil mimics the natural effect of layered cloud formations.
Looking back on his Uterwarf and Seebll landscape oils, Nolde wrote, "... die ganze weite Himmelswlbung ber uns, mehrnoch als den Halbkreis rundend, denn seltsam ist es, wie sehr eine kleine Anhufung in der flachen Ebene den Himmelsbogen vergrert" (Emil Nolde, Mein Leben, Cologne 1976, p. 373). Nolde's own passionate description of this landscape illustrates his deep emotional attachment to this particular region of Germany: "Unsere Landschaft ist bescheiden, allem Berauschenden, ppigen fern, das wissen wir, aber sie gibt dem intimen Betrachter fr seine Liebe zu ihr unendlich viel an stiller, inniger Schnheit, an herber Gre und auch an strmisch wildem Leben" (Emil Nolde, op. cit., p. 329).