Franz Marc’s world of animals Franz Marc is a German print maker and artist. He was a founding member of “Der Blaue Reiter” (The Blue Rider), an association of German Expressionist artists.
Marc was born in Munich in 1880, his father was a landscape painter. In 1910 Marc made an important friendship with Wassily Kandinsky, August Macke and Gabriele Munter; they shared a similar view on the progression of art. In 1911, they es tablished journal “The Blue Rider”. During his career Marc made over 60 prints in woodcut and lithography and many gouache paintings.
His works characterized by bright primary colors, simplicity of form and almost Cubist portrayal of animals. Many of his paintings depicted them in their natural setting and habitat. He believed that animals possessed a certain godliness that men had long since lost. “People with their lack of piety, especially men, never touched my true feelings,” he wrote in 1915. “But animals with their virginal sense of life awakened all that was good in me". The use of bold, bright colors were often seen in his works as well. Marc developed a theory of color symbolism.
According to him, blue is the male as tringent principle, yellow is the female gentle principle, red is matter, brutal and heavy and always the color to be opposed and overcome by the other two. Along with Marc's reoccurring themes of colors, he would also depict animals in the same manners. Deers were a very sacred animal to Marc. He usually painted them in a very peaceful manner. His works such as “The Red Horses”, “The Yellow Cow”, and “Dog Lying in Snow” depict animals in a peaceful setting also. “Fate of the Animals” provides a contrast to his normal depiction of animals, in which he puts his beloved creatures in a scene of destruction. He took a cubist approach, in the display and creation of the animals that he depicted in his works; simplicity was often seen as a means to his creative process as well, as most pieces simply focused on the animal, and the raw emotion, as opposed to drawing in from external factors, to create the printed art works during his career. Although he died at the young age of 36, many of the pieces created by Franz Marc were influential, and well ahead of his time.
The Franz Marc Museum in Kochel am See, Germany, is a major center for works by artist. His painting “Leaping Horses” was sold in 2009 at Christie's for nearly 5 million dollars. Now ranked among the top modern artists and one of the greatest expressionist painters, Franz Marc's best known works include “Tiger” (1912, Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus), The “Large Blue Horses” (1911, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis), and “Red Horses” (1911, private collection).