Johan Gudmann Rohde (1856 – 1935) was a Danish painter, lithographer and designer. He is best known for his contributions to the Danish Arts and Crafts movement and his influential designs in silverware and jewellery.
He was born in Randers, where he graduated from grammar school in 1875 and studied medicine before turning to art and painting. He initially studied architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, graduating in 1881. After completing his studies, he worked as an architect briefly but soon turned his attention to decorative arts and design.
In the late 1880s, Johan Rohde became associated with the Danish Arts and Crafts movement, which aimed to revive traditional craftsmanship and promote the integration of art into everyday life. He played a significant role in popularizing the movement through his designs, which combined functionality and aesthetics.
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, which he showed throughout his life.
“Art is not freedom from discipline, but disciplined freedom.”
John F. Kennedy
Rohde travelled extensively, showing his work and playing an essential part in developing 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 developing Danish craftsmanship. Besides silverware, Rohde also designed jewellery, furniture, ceramics, textiles, and other decorative objects. His works were exhibited and recognized in Denmark and internationally, receiving awards and accolades for their innovative designs.
Rohde received the Thorvaldsen Medal in 1934.
The Thorvaldsen Medal, also known as the Thorvaldsen Medal of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, is an esteemed award in the field of sculpture. It is named after the renowned Danish neoclassical sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) and has been awarded since 1837.
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Wikipedia contributors. (2021, April 23). Johan Rohde. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:05, September 25, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Johan_Rohde&oldid=1019453638
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