Nature meant a great deal to Johannes Larsen,
both in his art, in his daily life and in his interest for hunting
and animals in general. As a result, he built his home in one of
the most beautiful places in Kerteminde, with a fantastic view of
the Great Belt, where he could gaze at the changing colours of the
sea, the sky and nuances of the weather. In addition, there was a
big garden at Møllebakken, where there already were old trees and
bushes, and where Johannes Larsen established several pools to
encourage a wealth of birds to visit the garden.
Johannes Larsen was known as The Bird Painter,
but all sorts of animals interested him, and he has painted hares,
deer, cats, otters and more throughout his life. During a period of
time, he had a tame otter called Jokum, and he bought two mute
swans from the Hamburg Zoo, who lived in a pond in his garden. He
also acquired a peacock, Harald, who embellished the garden at
His interest in nature was, however, not
sentimental, but rather a deeply-felt understanding of its rhythm.
He had a serious and even scientific interest in the changing
seasons and their influence on the lives of animals. He advocated
the conservation of large natural areas, such as Fiilsø Lake (w.
Jutland) and was the chairman of the local chapter of the Danish
Society for Nature Conservation for 30 years.
Shortly before his death in 1961, Johannes
Larsen was named honourary member of this society and designated
chairman of The Danish Nature Foundation.