* 13 10 1916 | Bremen
† 24 12 2009 | Bremen
In addition to several portraits, Christian Modersohn primarily dedicated nearly his entire life to landscape painting. The Wümme Depression around Fischerhude, with its expansive meadows and abundant water, became the centre of his artistic work. He is primarily seen as an outstanding watercolourist, but his extensive oeuvre also encompasses drawing and oil painting.
Works by Christian Modersohn
Vita Christian Modersohn
Born in Bremen as the son of the painter Otto Modersohn (1865–1943) and his wife, the singer and painter Louise Modersohn-Breling (1883–1950), daughter of the Fischerhude artist Heinrich Breling.
Christian Modersohn grew up in Fischerhude and on the Gailenberg near Hindelang in Allgäu, where his mother operated an old mountain farm as a second residence after 1930. He already received lessons in piano, violin and singing as a seven-year-old.
He began studying art at the Nordische Kunsthochschule in Bremen.
Modersohn continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and became a student of Karl Caspar and Adolf Schinnerer. He studied the techniques of the Old Masters and discovered watercolours, which would be definitive for his artistic work.
He was drafted for military service, interrupted by an academy semester in 1940, and fought on the Eastern Front, . Thanks to his artistic abilities, he was assigned as a sketch map draughtsman and war painter. His watercolours and drawings illustrated not only the events of the war, but also the Russian landscape and human encounters.
He returned to Allgäu after being seriously injured at Stalingrad.
His father Otto Modersohn died on 10 March, his older brother Ulrich fell in Russia on 14 July and his cousin Cato Bontjes van Beek was executed as an accessory to high treason at the age of 21.
The estate of his father in Fischerhude was mostly destroyed by British soldiers.
Christian Modersohn resettled to his family home at the Gailenberg near Hindelang.
Marriage to Anna Lipp.
Established a family gallery on the mountain farm, where the mountain paintings of his father, but also the Westphalian early work, the Worpswede paintings and the Fischerhude late work were shown in initial exhibitions.
Birth of the children Heinrich, Ulrich, Antje and Johannes.
Sale of the house in Hindelang and resettlement of the family to Fischerhude. Construction of a studio and residence in the Bredenau, in the immediate vicinity of the small Wümme stream.
The landscape around Fischerhude, with the many arms of the Wümme, was now the focal point of his artistic work, despite longer stays in the mountains and travel to France, Italy and the German North Sea.
Exhibition in the Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin.
Construction of the Otto Modersohn Museum in Fischerhude.
Construction of a studio and workshop building for the Otto Modersohn Museum.
Exhibition in the Städtische Galerie Delmenhorst.
Completion of the first museum annex and founding of the Otto Modersohn Foundation in Fischerhude.
Aquarelle (watercolours) exhibition in the Historisches Museum für Stadt und Grafschaft Wertheim.
Aquarelle 1936–1987 exhibition in the Kunsthalle Bremen.
Retrospective in the Otto Modersohn Museum, Fischerhude.
On the occasion of his 85th birthday, he was honoured for his services with the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Christian Modersohn. Erinnerungen an Rußland – Skizzen aus dem Krieg 1941–1942 (Memories of Russia. Sketches from the war 19411942) exhibition in the Historisches Museum Domherrenhaus, Vreden and in the Lew Kopelew Forum, Cologne.
Christian Modersohn. Landschaften exhibition in the Burg zu Hagen im Bremischen.
Passed away on 24 December in Bremen.