Christian Rohlfs

Germany / 1849 - 1938 / / wikipedia
Christian Rohlfs was born in Niendorf in Holstein on 22 December 1849. During a 2-year sickbed confinement from 1864-1866 Rohlfs was nursed by a doctor called Stolle, who discovered and supported the painting talent of the boy. At this time, the first drawings came into being.
Upon Theodor Storm's suggestion and recommendation, Rohlfs went to Berlin and began his studies of painting at the Großherzogliche Kunstakademie in Weimar in 1870. A leg condition aggravated so badly during the following years that one of his legs was amputated in 1873.

His works found approval by the Grand Duke of Saxonia-Weimar, who supported him for many years. From 1888 on, an independent stylistic development in parallel to the school of Barbizon and to French Impressionism. Through Henry van de Velde Rohlfs got acquainted with the founder of the Folkwang Museum, Karl Ernst Osthaus in Hagen/ Westphalia.... During a summer stay in Soest in 1905, he got acquainted with Emil Nolde...

After his years of study at the academy, Rohlfs' work was formed for 20 years by Impressionism, but at the age of 60, he found a late expressionistic style. Favoring tempera on canvas and paper, he also created watercolors and prints.

After the Nazis seized power Rohlfs was expelled from the Preußische Kunstakademie der Künste in 1937 and 412 of his paintings were rated "degenerate" and were removed....

Christian Rohlfs (Nov. 22, 1849-Jan. 8, 1938); German painter, one of the important representatives of German expressionism.

...Meetings with Edvard Munch and Emil Nolde and the experience of seeing the works of Vincent van Gogh inspired him to move towards the expressionist style, in which he would work for the rest of his career.

In 1908, at the age of 60, he made his first prints after seeing an exhibition of works by the expressionist group Die Brücke. He went on to make 185 in total, almost all woodcuts or linocuts.
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First Collected by

Annette Holmgren Krebs


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