Art on This Day
German painter Christian Rohlfs was born on this day in 1938 in Groß Niendorf, Kreis Segeberg, Prussia. Rohlfs is said to be one of the important representatives of German expressionism.
Rohlfs took up painting as a teenager while convalescing from an infection that ultimately cost him a leg. He then proceeded his formal studies in Weimar in 1870. Initially painted large-scale landscapes, working successively through academic, naturalist, Impressionist, and Neo-Impressionist styles. In 1901 left Weimar for Hagen at urging of collector Karl Ernst Osthaus, who offered him a studio in the modern art museum he was establishing there. Through this exposure to the avant-garde, including meeting Edvard Munch in 1904 and Emil Nolde a year later, and seeing Van Gogh's choppy brushstrokes and vibrant coloring, his work moved into its final, Expressionist phase.
Mature into his career, he made his first of 185 prints at age sixty. In 1908, after seeing an exhibition of Brücke prints Rohlfs became a prolific printmaker, creating boldly designed works such as the woodcut Death and Child (1912–13). He solely concentrated mostly on figurative subjects, as well as biblical themes in response to World War.By 1937 Nazis expelled him from the Prussian Academy of Arts, condemned him as degenerate, and removed 412 of his works from public collections. Today, his paintings can be found in numerous institutions around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Folkwang Museum in Germany, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Spain.
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