Watercolor and water tempera Not in Vogt. Monogrammed and dated lower right. On cardboard-like laid paper. 52,2 x 34 cm (20,5 x 13,3 in), the full sheet With collection note: "[?]G. J. No. 759" on verso by a hand other han that of the artist.
PROVENANCE: Collection Maria Möller-Garny, Cologne. Galerie Ferdinand Moeller, Berlin/Cologne. Galerie Henze & Ketterer AG, Wichtrach/Bern. Private collection North-Rhine Westphalia.
In unusual close-up, the water lilies in this painting attest to the powers an artist then over seventy years old could still lavish composition. Water tempera, a variant technique between watercolor and tempera developed by Christian Rohlfs is presented here with unparalleled technical brilliance. Rohlfs suggested the water lilies so adroitly with a few, tellingly placed dots of color that they appear to be growing out of the darkness of the water. Embedded in a grayish blue wash, in which they reveal the dilute effects so typical of tempera, the plants stand out all the more radiantly against the ground. In company with Emil Nolde, Rohlfs gave the flower still life in classical German modern art a new impetus, away from the petty bourgeois ‘customary kitsch’ so characteristic of academic salon painting and towards a markedly expressive handling, in which color and form are the sole determinants of quality. [KD].