Johan Rohde


Johan Rohde (1856-1935) was a Danish painter, printmaker and fur-niture designer. Rohde gave up medical school and was admitted to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1882. As a reaction against what he believed to be an outdated education, Rohde initiated the foun-dation of Kunstnernes Frie Studieskoler - an art school established as a protest against the policies of the Academy. Rohde himself became a student at the new school and later on the head-teacher until 1912 when it was closed down. 

As a painter Rohde was a central figure in the anti-academic oppo-sition, but as a furniture designer he reevaluated his position already before the 19th century. Very confident he resisted the ornamental temptations which were seen in the Art Nouveau movement and his furniture even from the 1890s ushered the 1910s Neoclassicism. Without the slavish imitation of earlier styles, but with clear re-ferences to the antique inspired Empire furniture, Rohde combined a classicistic and slightly geometric purism approach with a func-tional structure. His furniture is characterized with large surfaces and their upwardly position, emphasized with their detailed cornices and volutes. Mahogany and lemonwood were Johan Rohde’s preferred sorts of wood.