Johan Rohde (1856 – 1935) Danish Architect, Metalworker & Designer

Cosmos pattern waste bowl (1915) designed by Johan Rohde
Cosmos pattern waste bowl (1915) designed by Johan Rohde

Johan Gudmann Rohde (1856 – 1935) was a Danish painter, lithographer and designer. Den Frie Udstilling, founded in 1891 to allow artists to show works that did not meet the Academy’s selection criteria, was named after him.

Early Life

He was born in Randers, where he graduated from grammar school in 1875 and studied medicine before turning to art and painting. In 1882, he enrolled in the Academy after studying privately with Wenzel Torne. He studied under Laurits Tuxen and P.S.Kryer (1883–1886) at the newly formed Kunstnernes Studieskole (Students’ School of Study). He departed with a group of other students less than a year later, dissatisfied with the institution’s inability to incorporate new trends.


Rohde first exhibited at Charlottenborg’s spring exhibition in 1888 with an everyday scene: En Beværtningshave i Udkanten af København (A Tavern Garden on the Outskirts of Copenhagen). When his paintings, along with those of Vilhelm Hammershi, Fritz Syberg, Joakim Skovgaard, and Julius Paulsen, were later rejected by the Academy, he and Rasmus Christiansen organised an exhibition of rejected works in their studio in 1888. He founded Den Frie Udstilling in 1890 alongside J.F. Willumsen, Hammershi, Harald and Agnes Slott-Mller, and Christian Mourier-Petersen, where he showed throughout his life.

Rohde travelled extensively, showing his work and playing an essential part in the development of Danish art until 1914 by monitoring news trends, forging new contacts, and writing carefully crafted articles for Danish newspapers. He had an eye for valuable paintings, purchasing a Van Gogh painting in Paris in 1892 (now in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek). In 1893, he also organised a Van Gogh show in Den Frie. His works from the 1890s, mainly his portraits, are influenced by Symbolism.

With his high-quality silver designs (for Georg Jensen and furniture in both classical and Japanese styles), Rohde played an essential role in the development of Danish artisanship.

Rohde received the Thorvaldsen Medal in 1934.


Wikipedia contributors. (2021, April 23). Johan Rohde. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:05, September 25, 2021, from

You may also be interested in

Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts 250 years of education in the arts

For more than 250 years, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (Danish: Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi) has provided education in the arts, playing a role in Denmark’s art growth. On March 31 1754, the Royal Danish Academy of Portraiture, Sculpture, and Architecture in Copenhagen was opened and given to King Frederik V on his 31st birthday.

Børge Mogensen (1914 – 1972) Danish furniture designer

Børge Mogensen (1914 – 1972) was a Danish furniture designer. 1936-38, studied KunsthÃ¥ndværkerskolen, Copenhagen, and 1938-42, furniture, Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi, Copenhagen, under Kaare Klint. Between 1942-50, he was chair of the furniture design department of the Association of Danish Cooperative Wholesale Societies, designing simple utilitarian pieces.

❤️ Receive our newsletter

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.