Christian Rohlfs - Mondschein am Lago - image-1

Lot 254 Dα

Christian Rohlfs - Mondschein am Lago

Auction 1143 - overview Cologne
29.11.2019, 18:00 - Modern Art I
Estimate: 30.000 € - 35.000 €
Result: 37.200 € (incl. premium)

Christian Rohlfs

Mondschein am Lago

Water tempera on heavy handmade laid paper 57 x 77.7 cm Framed under glass. Unsigned. Verso an old title and inscription "Mondschein am Lago" and "No. 78" in pencil at left in the upper margin and dated "1931" lower left and with the stamp of the estate "NACHLASS CHRISTIAN ROHLFS", signed by Helene Rohlfs "Frau Christian Rohlfs". - Overall in fine condition, the sheet slightly wavy due to the painting technique. The upper corners with several drawing pin traces. - Minor tearout at right upper margin.

In the water-based tempera painting “Mondschein am Lago”, Rohlfs achieves a late masterpiece depicting a tranquil landscape impression: the enchanted magic of the mountains, the water and the reflected moon is developed to the fullest when reciprocally contemplated in peaceful, neutral light. The human eye must first become adjusted to the twilight, abstract spectre of the scarcely tangible colours; the extension of the landscape in depth and the delicate sources of light within the image only gradually reveal themselves. It is well known that Rohlfs reworked these sheets by hand so that the painting and the depicted subject would ultimately appear as if dematerialised, floating.
“Never before had his colours possessed so much sensitivity despite all their power, a comparable transparency despite such richness. Composing on the basis of one fundamental colour is one of the most important characteristics of his late work, which can easily be divided up according to groups of colours. The 'main' tones - a luminous blue, saturated red and deep, warm brown - provide the pictures with their defining foundation. Lightened to the point of immateriality and sometimes - if his vision demanded it - also retaining a thick application of the paint, they seem like symbols of the timeless and enduring within the transitory. […] The pictures of his final years appear cheerful and bright, distant and nonetheless infinitely familiar. They contain the wisdom of age and the glory of maturity, paired with the masculine coolness and austere restraint that Rohlfs never denied.” (Paul Vogt, Christian Rohlfs: Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, Recklinghausen 1958, p. 108).

Catalogue Raisonné

Vogt 1931/25


Family heritage, Private possession, North Germany