Gelmeroda, a village near Weimar, has attracted painters since the nineteenth century, up to and including Lyonel Feininger. Rohlfs does not depict the village with its pointed spire, but shows instead the broad sweep of the road, flooded with wintry light as it snakes into the distance between meadows, gardens, and trees. The two incidental peasant figures seen from behind create a sense of depth that underlines the wide open spaces of the district. The paint is applied thickly in this work which is typical of Rohlfs’ early manner. Later on his landscapes became much more Impressionist, and after experiments with abstraction he became one of the most important individualists among the Expressionists. In the end his work was classed as “degenerate” — a turn of events that is scarcely believable in the light of his work before 1900.


  • Title: The Road to Gelmeroda
  • Creator: Christian Rohlfs
  • Date Created: 1893
  • Physical Dimensions: w62.5 x h55.5 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Technique and material: Oil on canvas
  • Inv.-No.: A III 469
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-815114
  • External link: Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Prestel Verlag / Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, http://www.bpk-images.de
  • Collection: Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist biography: Christian Rohlfs was a German painter and important exponent of German Expressionism. He served as an apprentice in Berlin under Ludwig Pietsch in 1870 and later in Weimar with Paul Thumann. During this early period he executed mainly naturalistic works. Later he ventured more towards Expressionism and created cityscapes, landscapes and depictions of architecture, as well as floral still lifes. He is known for compositions such as 'Amaryllis auf grünem Grund' (1937).
  • Artist Place of Death: Hagen, Germany
  • Artist Place of Birth: Groß Niendorf, Poland
  • Artist Dates: 1849-11-22/1938-01-08

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