Johannes Larsen was born in 1867 in Kerteminde, son of merchant I.A.Larsen and Wilhelmine Christine (Bless) Larsen. Johannes Larsen was the oldest of 6 children and soon showed his artistic talent. He was trained at Zahrtmann's Art School in Copenhagen. In 1898 he married the artist Alhed Warberg (1872-1927) and they had two sons, Andreas (Puf) (1899-1953) and Johan (Lysse) (1901-1991).
In 1901, Johannes and Alhed Larsen moved into their new house on Mill Hill (Møllebakken) in Kerteminde; their home quickly became a gathering place for many artists and authors. Over time the buildings were expanded and added to, adapting to changing needs.
At Zahrtmann's Art School, Johannes Larsen met an artist from Faaborg, Fritz Syberg (1862-1939) who later married Anna (Hansen) Syberg (1870-1914), the sister of another classmate, Peter Hansen (1868-1928). Anna and Fritz moved to Kerteminde in 1902, to the farm Pilegården, about 1 km. from Møllebakken. This remained their home for the rest of their lives, and their 7 children grew up there. Johannes Larsen, Fritz Syberg and Peter Hansen were later known as the main figures in the group of Funish Painters.
Johannes Larsen's sister, Christine Larsen (1876-1960) was a painter and ceramicist. She married the painter Sigurd Swane (1879-1973) in 1910, and their son Lars Swane (1913-2002) became an artist as well. Christine and Sigurd were divorced in 1920 and Sigurd remarried, with artist Agnete (Rechendorff). They had three children, Hanne, Henrik and Gerda. Christine remained unmarried.
Johannes Larsen was an active artist and illustrator until his death in 1961. His grandson, Jeppe Andreas Larsen, (1935-1984) Puf's son, lived at Møllebakken with his family after his grandfather's death. Jeppe Larsen was a talented artist and several of his works are shown in our exhibition. In 1984, his family moved from Møllebakken so the place could become a museum. The Johannes Larsen Museum opened in 1986 and is now part of The Museums of Eastern Funen.