Christian Rohlfs - Blaue und rote Blüten
Blaue und rote Blüten
Water tempera on pale brown drawing paper 37 x 25.8 cm Framed under glass. Monogrammed 'CR' in brown lower right.
The narrow, vertical format of this painting presumably resulted from its subject: three tall, blue clusters of blossoms - bundled together before a green ground - soar upwards and fill the sheet, flanked by red circular forms that only suggest flowers. Here again, Christian Rohlfs reveals himself to be a master of abstraction. With loosely placed swings of the brush that constantly alter their direction, lucid layers of colour are placed above and next to one another - their motion undermining any exact description of the subject matter. The luminous bundles of colour resembling larkspur are expressively characterised with a black contour and are only thus brought out in terms of a motif. With their idiosyncratic brushstroke, the richly contrasting and freely applied lines seem to have assimilated an Asian aesthetic. Hagen's Folkwang Museum, where Rohlfs had a studio from 1906 onwards, offered the artist a rich selection not only of the newest avant-garde art, which Karl Ernst Osthaus purchased in abundance for his museum, but also of numerous artefacts from non-European cultures. (See, e.g., M.-A. von Lüttichau, “Bei ihm der Geist es ist, der sich den Körper baut” - Christian Rohlfs und Karl Ernst Osthaus, esp. fig. 3, p. 69, Museum Folkwang Hagen, View into the Asian cabinet, after 1914, in: exhib. cat. Christian Rohlfs, Die Begegnung mit der Moderne, Kiel/Berlin 2005/2006; Herta Hesse-Frielinghaus, Karl Ernst Osthaus - Leben und Werk, Recklinghausen 1971, pp. 133 f.)
List of works
Not recorded by Vogt
The work will be presented on 16 June 2014 at the Christian Rohlfs Archive, Osthaus Museum Hagen, for additional expertise and authentication.
From the artist's estate, Helene Rohlfs; Galerie Thomas, Munich (1969); since then in private possession Rhineland