In May of 1921, Johannes Larsen sailed off on his first journey with the expedition ship, “Rylen”, a refitted Great Belt fishing boat. He and Achton Friis embarked on a project to describe the many Danish islands and their inhabitants. This idea came from the poet and author Jeppe Aakjær, who thought it was about time someone catalogued the particulars of the islands. Aacton Friis, who had been on the big Danish expedition to Greenland, found the idea intriguing – but he wanted a painter to come along. It had to be someone “who possessed the best qualities for carrying out his calling”. For Aacton Friis, this person could only be Johannes Larsen - who immediately said yes.
Their collaboration resulted in the 3-volume work, The Isles of the Danes, which was published in 1926-1928. The raw material for the books was collected during their four years of sailing trips in 1921-1924. After these journeys the boat was sold, but more than 50 years later, Johannes Larsen’s grandson, Jeppe Larsen, found the boat in a small fishing port on southern Funen. It was later purchased and restored by the Johannes Larsen Museum.
Today “Rylen” can be seen sailing around in Danish waters, crewed by artists who carry on the tradition of describing nature.
The Museum Ship "Rylen" in the present
Today the sailboat "Rylen" is maintained by a group of volunteer boating enthusiasts. During the summer there aren’t many days when Rylen is in port in Kerteminde. On the contrary, Rylen can be seen frequently sailing all around in Danish waters.
The local artist Jens Bohr sails as Rylen’s skipper every year on summer journeys with many different artists, both painters and graphic artists, who each, in his own way, continues Johannes Larsen’s tradition of describing the Danish islands and shorelines.
Film and photo journeys attempt, with modern techniques, to capture the moment in surroundings that are rapidly changing.
Where to find us
In between sailing trips, Rylen is tied up in Kerteminde harbour near the other wooden sailboats, behind Rudolf Mathis Restaurant, on the road Dosseringen. See map.
Phone 65 32 37 27