(German, 1849–1938) was a painter, and is considered to be one of the pioneers of German Expressionism. Born in Niendorf, Rohlfs studied art in Berlin and, later, Weimar, where he was exposed to the naturalistic figure painting tradition. Though he painted large-scale landscapes in the style of academic realism for much of his career, beginning in the 1880s, color became an increasingly central element in his work. During this time, he was influenced by French Impressionism and, in particular, by Post-Impressionism and the paintings of Vincent van Gogh
Around 1900, Rohlfs began painting with Emil Nolde
, and was influenced by the spontaneous and emotional quality of works produced by Die Brücke. After attending an exhibition of prints by these artists in 1907, Rohlfs turned to printmaking.
In 1937, after the rise of the Nazi party, 16 of his works were featured in the Degenerate Art
exhibition, and 412 works were confiscated from museums in Germany.
The artist died in Hagen. 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.