This watercolor by Christian Rohlfs (1849-1938) was created in 1920. Together with his young wife Helene, whom he married in December 1919, Rohlfs traveled to Upper Bavaria, where the monastery Andechs, towering on the picturesque ‘holy mountain’, exerted a great charm upon him so that he painted and drew it several times. This sheet was created during the second trip to Erling, from where he visited the Benedictine monastery. The present version is particularly expressive.
The watercolor was formerly in the renowned collection Walter Kaesbach. The German art historian Walter Kaesbach (1879-1961) was an important patron of Expressionism with a special focus on the art of the group ‘Die Brücke’. Artists such as Lyonel Feininger, Emil Nolde, August Macke, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Pechstein and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff were represented in the prestigious collection.
The work is listed in the catalogue raisonné of the watercolors by Paul Vogt under no. 1920-81. The work was shown in an exhibition of the Hans Thoma-Gesellschaft in the Studio-Galerie Reutlingen, 2.10. - 07.11.1971 (Cat. No. 44).
The sheet is in good condition with fresh colors. There are minor acid spots along the upper margin and outside the representation, verso mounted with hinges (loosely back-lined). The paper is slightly toned. The work is signed ‘Chr Rohlfs’ monogrammed ‘CR’ and dated ‘20’ lower right as well as inscribed ‘A.’. The plain wooden frame shows some wear. The framed work measures 32.2 x 23.3 cm, the sheet measures 22.5 x 16.5 cm.
Christian Rohlfs (1849-1938)
The German painter Christian Rohlfs studied under Paul Thumann at the Art School Weimar. In 1901, he accepted a teaching position at the Folkwang School in Weimar. After the ‘degenerate art’ exhibition in Munich in 1937, hundreds of his works were confiscated and shortly before his death, Rohlfs was banned from painting and was excluded from the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin. His expressive oeuvre shows primarily naturalistic works in the early years at Weimar, and later developed impressionist and finally distinctive expressionist qualities. In his time in Ascona (since 1927) Rohlfs consistently refined his typical technique of the water tempera especially in his flower paintings.