When Sunflowers Teach The Little Girl How To See The Sun, When The Little Girl Teaches The Sunflowers How To See The World, When Sky Learns From Sunflowers How To See The Sun

Emil Nolde, “Kleine Sonnenblumen” (“Little sunflowers”)
Emil Nolde, “Kleine Sonnenblumen” (“Little sunflowers”)

How many sunflowers are in this painting, two or three? The semantic key to the heart of the painting is it seems the girl’s facial expression. Why does she make such a strange face, as if, she is playfully pleading with somebody – the painter or anybody who is looking at the painting – so innocently and a little capriciously?

The girl semi-consciously is impersonating the sunflower. She looks at us as the sunflower looks at the sun. Sunflower is blind – it can see, with its whole face, only the sun. But in becoming a little sunflower herself, the one with eyes reflecting the sky, the little girl shares with sunflowers her sight. Through her they as if got human eyes able to see the sky and the world.

It is, as if, the sky took the form of the little girl to be able to see the sun as sunflowers do and the world as the little girls are able to. The sky sees the sun like a sunflower does, like the girl sees the world like the sky sees. We exist because she is looking at us, because she taught the sunflowers how to look at and to see us.

It is through the girl-sky, the girl-sunflower, the girl-sun – the sky and earth come together. Through human perception of the world, sky, sun and beauty – all unite, become one.

Is she the little muse of Creation? Behind her the painting improvises the Creation of the world through Nolde’s alchemy of water-colors where sky, earth, light and Fata-Morgana are blended by the human imagination into a world in and of colors.