* 22 12 1849 | Niendorf
† 08 01 1938 | Hagen
He was one of the very special German modern artists in the first half of the 20th century. The multifarious work of Christian Rohlfs passed through extremely different periods, from Realism through Impressionism and Expressionism to a unique, highly individual late work of intensified expression and astonishing painterly richness.
Currently there are no works from Christian Rohlfs available
Vita Christian Rohlfs
Born on 22 December in Niendorf, Holstein.
Rohlfs falls out of a tree, injuring his leg and must keep to his bed for two years. The Segeberg doctor gives the boy drawing materials. He recognises and encourages the gift of his charge.
Attends secondary school in Bad Segeberg.
Commences with studies at the Grand-Ducal Saxon Art School in Weimar.
His leg ailment grows worse. A hospital stay in Jena is necessary.
Amputation of the right leg due to chronic bone marrow infection.
Study stays in Weißenfels and Dresden. First sketchbooks.
Study trip to Eisenach and the Rhön Mountains
Rohlfs shares a free studio with the painter Eddelbüttel.
End of studies. Rohlfs attempts to work as a freelance artist in Weimar.
First signs of an Impressionist painting style in his work.
One-year stay in Berlin at the invitation of the composer Bischof, which he repeats in the following year.
Stay in Lübeck and at the Bay of Lübeck.
Contact with the museum founder Karl Ernst Osthaus. He moves into studio rooms in his Hagen museum in the following year.
His work begins to demonstrate Expressionist tendencies.
Stay in Weimar. He is awarded a professor title by the Weimar Academy.
Stay of several weeks in Weimar. First watercolours.
He becomes familiar with works of Van Gogh and the French avant garde at the Museum Folkwang in Hagen, which influence his work.
Rohlfs spends the summer in Soest and becomes friends with Emil Nolde.
Spends the summer in Soest again, the winter in Hagen.
Rohlfs becomes a member of the Separate League of West German Art Lovers and Artists.
Stays in Weimar, in the Rhön Mountains and in Upper Bavaria, as well as in Berlin.
First woodcut prints.
He becomes a member of the German Werkbund. His works are shown in an exhibition in the Folkwang Museum in Hagen.
Rohlfs goes to Munich for two years, where he takes a studio.
Travel to Tirol and the Sauerland.
Rohlfs is unable to work for several months due to the outbreak of the war. Works with religious themes originate, influenced by the war.
He becomes a member of the Free Secession in Berlin.
He marries the 41-year younger Helene Vogt, whom he had met the year before. Several exhibitions on the occasion of his 70th birthday, including in the National Gallery in Berlin.
The following years are characterised by much travel, including to Mittenwald, Munich, Dinkelsbühl and Rothenburg.
A turn toward large-format works with water-based tempera on paper.
The artist is awarded an honorary doctorate by the Technical University of Aachen. Holstein sketchbook.
Declared an honorary citizen of the city of Hagen on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Rohlfs becomes a member of the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin.
He is awarded the title of honorary doctor by the University of Kiel, while the Düsseldorf Art Academy names him an Extraordinary Member.
First trip to Ascona on Lago Maggiore, moves into Casa Lisibach.
Rohlfs and his wife spend the summer months in Ascona from now on.
The Christian Rohlfs Museum is founded in Hagen on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Several exhibitions take place, including in the Museum Folkwang in Essen.
The Tatjana Cycle is created, inspired by the modern dancer Tatjana Barbakoff.
The Louvre in Paris purchases one of his works.
The Detroit Institute of Arts exhibits his works.
Rohlfs is classified as a “degenerate artist“ and is expelled from the Prussian Academy of Arts. His works are removed from museums.
The artist dies in his Hagen studio on 8 January.
Commemorative exhibitions take place in Basel and Bern.
Several of his works are shown posthumously at documenta 1 in 1955.