Christian Rohlfs (1849—1938)

Christian Rohlfs

“Das schwarze Haus”, ca. 1936
Tempera on laid paper
56.5 x 78 cm


1849 — Born on December 22nd in Niendorf.

1864 — Falls from a tree, confined to bed for two years. His doctor, Dr Stolle, the brother-in-law of Theodor Storm, obtains painting utensils.

1866 — Attends the Institut (academic high school) in Bad Segeberg.

1870 — Studies at the Großherzogliche Akademie in Weimar

1873 — Right leg is amputated.

1884 — Rohlfs is declared an independent artist on 15 June. He keeps his free studio.

1900 — Through the mediation of Henry Van de Velde, Rohlfs makes a first contact to Karl Ernst Osthaus in Hagen, who is busy with the preparations for the foundation of the Folkwang Museum.

1901 — Moves to Hagen.

1902 — At the instigation of Hans Olde subsequent conferment of the title Professor.

1903 — First watercolours.

1904 — Becomes acquainted with Edvard Munch and Dr. Kaesbach. Gives up the free studio in Weimar. First visit to Soest.

1905 — Friendship with Emil Nolde.

1907 — Member of the Sonderbund westdeutscher Kunstfreunde und Künstler (Special Federation of West German Art Lovers and Artists).

1908 — First woodcuts.

1909 — Exhibition at the Folkwang Museum. Participation at the Sonderbund Exhibition in Düsseldorf and at the Black-and-White exhibition of the Berlin Secession.

1911 — Member of the “Neue Secession”, Berlin.

1914 — Unable to work for weeks due to a nervous breakdown on the outbreak of the war.

1919 — Rohlfs marries Helene Vogt. Special exhibition on the occasion of his 70th birthday; Nationalgalerie, Berlin; Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover; Galerie Flechtheim, Düsseldorf.

1920 — Special exhibition at Paul Cassirer, Berlin.

1922 — Awarded an honorary engineering doctorate by the Technical University Aachen.

1924 — On the occasion of his 75th birthday: freeman of the city of Hagen and a member of the Preußische Akademie der Künste, Berlin

1925 — Awarded an honorary Ph. D. by the University of Kiel. Extraordinary member of the State Academy of Arts in Düsseldorf.

1928 — First journey to Ascona on Lago Maggiore.

1937 — Rohlfs is regarded as “degenerate”. Exhibition ban. Exclusion from the Preußische Akademie der Künste, Berlin. 412 of his works are confiscated from museums.

1938 — Rohlfs dies on 8 January. Sales ban. Memorial exhibitions in Basel, Berne and Zurich.