'Portrait of Franz Marc' by August Macke, 1910

Franz Marc, (1880-1916)  son of the painter Wilhelm Marc, made contact with Kandinsky's circle in 1910, when he wrote to defend a maligned exhibition held by the New Artists' Association. In 1911, with Kandinsky, he co-founded the breakaway 'Blue Rider' group after which he exhibited and published with them, exerted a strong artistic influence on many of its adherents and was a principal member of the first German Salon d'Automne in 1913.—   At the beginning of World War I, he volunteered for military service and was killed in action near Verdun, France, in 1916.  

Despite a relatively brief career, Marc is regarded as a first-rate Expressionist and a pioneer in abstraction. Born in Munich and trained at its Art Academy, he is best known for paintings of animals — particularly horses and deer — that suggest a mystical veneration of the natural world.  His stated aim was "animalizing art" and he wrote I seek to heighten my sensitivity to the organic rhythm in all things, and to achieve a pantheistic empathy with the trembling and streaming of thte blood in nature, in trees, in animals, in the air. In works such as Blue Horses (1911, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota) and The Tower of Blue Horses, he used stylized lines and curves and vivid, anti-naturalistic color to idealize the creatures. (His passion for horses and Kandinsky's enjoyment of riding are sometimes said to be the rationale for the group's name.)  

Inspired by Cubism and Futurism during a trip to Paris with August Macke, Marc produced moody, abstract pictures after 1913. 

The Tower of Blue Horses (Der Turm der blauen Pferde),
1913, oil on canvas, missing.
Illustration with Cattle (Bild mit Rindern)
Tyrol (Tirol), 1914,
oil on canvas, Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst, Munich.
Deer in a Monastery Garden (Reh im Klostergarten), 1912, oil on canvas, Lenbachhaus, Munich.
In the Rain (Im Regen), 1912, oil on canvas, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich.

  'The Tower of Blue Horses' by Franz Marc

 'Illustration with Cattle' by Franz Marc

 'Tyrol (Tirol), 1914' by Franz Marc

 'Deer in a Monastery Garden' by Franz Marc

 'In the Rain' by Franz Marc


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