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The Art Story Homepage Artists Franz Marc
Franz Marc Photo

Franz Marc

German Painter and Printmaker

Movements and Styles: Expressionism, Der Blaue Reiter

Born: February 8, 1880 - Munich, Germany

Died: March 4, 1916 - Braquis, France

Franz Marc Timeline

"I try to intensify my sensitivity for the organic rhythm of all things; I seek pantheist empathy with the vibration and flow of the blood of nature-in the trees, in the animals, in the air . . . I see no happier medium for the 'Animalization' of art, as I would like to call it, than the animal picture."

Franz Marc Signature

Summary of Franz Marc

Although his career was cut short by his early death, Franz Marc had a tremendous impact on the various Expressionist movements that would evolve after World War I. After early experiments with Naturalism and Realism, Marc later eschewed those styles in favor of the greater symbolic potential of abstraction. He is most famous for his images of brightly colored animals, especially horses, which he used to convey profound messages about humanity, the natural world, and the fate of mankind. In association with Russian painter and theorist Wassily Kandinsky, Marc founded the group Der Blaue Reiter, which emphasized the use of abstracted forms and bold colors. Their goal was to use form and symbolism as tools to overcome what they saw as the toxic state of the modern world. As World War I approached, the tension of Marc's paintings came into especially sharp focus, as if he anticipated both his own fate and that of Europe as a whole.

Key Ideas

Marc looked to the natural world as an antidote to modern life, from which he felt increasingly alienated. Nature and animals were more than just pleasing to him; they were spiritual and a means of relocating what had been lost in the modern era. Thus, his paintings of animals are suffused with an almost meditative reverence.
Color was extremely important for Marc. Not only did he understand the potential for color to affect mood, he developed a specific theory of color symbolism. His analysis of color associated blue with the masculine, yellow with the feminine, and red with the physical - often violent - world.
Marc's work embodies the heightened anxieties of early-20th-century Europe, as people struggled with a rapidly changing, urban world on the precipice of war.
Franz Marc Photo

Franz Marc was born in Munich, Germany on February 8, 1880. His father, Wilhelm Marc, was an amateur landscape painter. Under the influence of his artistic father, Marc's artistic talent was evident from a young age, but he did not decide to pursue a career in painting until after completing his military service.

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Franz Marc
Interactive chart with Franz Marc's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
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Artists

Paul GauguinPaul Gauguin
Paul CézannePaul Cézanne
Vincent van GoghVincent van Gogh
Henri MatisseHenri Matisse

Personal Contacts

Wassily KandinskyWassily Kandinsky
Robert DelaunayRobert Delaunay

Movements

FauvismFauvism
CubismCubism
FuturismFuturism
Influences on Artist
Influences on Artist
Franz Marc
Franz Marc
Years Worked: 1902 - 1916
Influenced by Artist
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Paul KleePaul Klee
Jackson PollockJackson Pollock
Willem de KooningWillem de Kooning
Mark RothkoMark Rothko

Personal Contacts

Albert BlochAlbert Bloch
August MackeAugust Macke

Movements

Abstract ExpressionismAbstract Expressionism
Color Field PaintingColor Field Painting
Neo-ExpressionismNeo-Expressionism

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors

Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Ellen Hurst

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors
Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Ellen Hurst
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First published on 22 Feb 2016. Updated and modified regularly. Information
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