Christian Rohlfs (1849-1938), a German, was the son of a poor farmer who began to draw to amuse himself when recovering from an accident. His work was shown to others, and he was encouraged to study art formally. He went first to Berlin and then to Weimar, where he remained for almost 30 years. His early works are naturalistic landscapes, moving into Impressionism. From 1901 he was an instructor at the Drawing School in Hagen, where he saw and was influenced by the works of van Gogh. He went through a mystical stage, and finally painted watercolours and pastels of near abstract design.