Christian Rohlfs

Rohlfs, Christian

1849 Groß Niendorf ‐ 1938 Hagen

Information about the artist

Christian Rohlfs belongs to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Emil Nolde to the most important representatives of German Expressionism.



He studies since 1870 at the Weimar Art Academy. At the age of 52 Rohlfs leaves Weimar and follows the patron Karl-Ernst Osthaus to Hagen. There he orients himself to role models like Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch.



The highlights in Rohlf's work include his watercolors and the late water tempera leaves. In addition to the watercolors by Emil Nolde, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and August Macke, they are among the most important examples of German art of the first half of the 20th century. While the artists mentioned often place their motifs wet on wet directly on the paper, Rohlfs has developed a special technique with which he overlays the colors almost glazed.


Flower still lifes

Flower still lifes have been increasingly present in his work since 1919. This can be attributed to the artist's marriage to Helene Vogt, who helped him with his work as a secretary since 1918. Walther Scheidig describes this connection with the following words: "One gets the impression that ever since the marriage of the hand of the young woman in the studio, the colors and shapes have been made according to enticing flowers or fruits, which gave the artist suggestions. At the age of seventy-five, Rohlfs finally found the economic foundation (...) "(Scheidig, 1965, p. 139).

Works of art

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