Franz Marc Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions
2-8-1880 Munich, GER - 3-4-1916 Verdun, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Franz Marc studied theology in Munich, intending to enter the Church, but switched to art, which he regarded as a spiritual activity. He studied painting in Italy and France before returning to Munich where, with Kandinsky, he founded the Berlin avant-garde Der Blaue Reiter group in 1911. Franz Marc was a great lover of animals and would have preferred the movement to be named after the horse, but Kandinsky insisted on the rider. They agreed, however on the choice of blue, as it was the favorite color of both artists, and hence the name of the group The Blue Rider.
A religious man, Franz Marc believed that animals were more in harmony with nature than human beings and so he concentrated on paintings in which animals, horses, and foxes, featured prominently.
The Overwhelming Power of Color.
In his earlier works the animals form the dominant subject but later they merged into the landscape as though an integral part of it. He speculated on how animals perceived the world and this influenced his later Expressionist work, which was almost devoid of figurative motifs and explored the emotional potential of color as in The Dream. While Marc conveyed the movements and forms of animals very effectively, displaying an anatomic and ethnological realism worthy of a keen zoologist, he tended to place these elements on flat backgrounds, framed by areas of limpid color, creating the impression of a resplendent stained glass window.
Franz Marc returned to Germany on the outbreak of World War 1. After mobilization of the German Army, the government identified notable artists to be withdrawn from combat for their own safety. Franz Marc was on the list but was struck in the head and killed by a shell splinter during the Battle of Verdun in 1916 before orders for reassignment could reach him.
At the age of 36, his death brought to an abrupt end one of the most promising artists of the early twentieth century. In 1999, his Der Wasserfall (The Waterfall) was sold by Sotheby's in London to a private collector for $5.06 million.
Art Movement History: Impressionism, Expressionism
Artists Influencing Franz Marc: Gabriel von Hackl, Wilhelm von Diez, August Macke, Wassily Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay
He Traveled To Italy, France, Greece