(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,
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.