The Wave, Moonrise

Bror Julius Olsson NORDFELDT (American 1878 – 1955)

The Wave, Moonrise; 1906

Donovan 19. Color woodcut on thin cream laid paper.
Signed and dated in pencil, also inscribed with the number 249, upper left. In very good condition.
9 1/4 x 11 1/4 inches.

A fine impression of this rare woodcut.  Nordfeldt’s numbering system appears to be related to the total number of prints he made;  impressions of The Wave, Moonrise are quite rare, and indeed we have not encountered them on the market in recent decades.

Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt was born in Sweden, moving at the age of 14 with his family to the United States, settling in Chicago. In 1896 he began studies at the Art Institute of Chicago while working as a typesetter on the Swedish newspaper, “Hemlandet”. At the Art Institute, he studied with Frederick Richardson and John H. Vanderpool. Nordfeldt traveled to Paris in 1900 to study at the Académie Julian and in 1901 he studied woodblock printing in Oxford, England with F. Morley Fletcher. He returned to Sweden to live and work in Jonstorp, a village on the Western coast.  After 1903 Nordfeldt lived in Chicago, then in Paris, San Francisco during WWI (where he supervised the camouflaging of merchant ships!), then Santa Fe and a host of other U.S. locations ending up in scenic Lambertville, New Jersey where he died in 1955.  The Wave, Moonrise, was created in one of the most fertile periods of Nordfeldt’s career, when under the strong influence of both modernism and Japonisme.