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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

Quotes

"The wasteland of 19th-century art was our nursery."
Franz Marc
"Very early in life I found man ugly; the animal seemed to me more beautiful and cleaner, but even in it I discovered so much that was repelling and ugly that my instinctively and by inner force became more schematic and abstract."
Franz Marc
"Art is nothing but the expression of our dream; the more we surrender to it the closer we get to the inner truth of things, our dream-life, the true life that scorns questions and does not see them."
Franz Marc
"The Blue Rider projects himself into the mysterious realms of nature and, without brutality or strident effect, loses himself in the wonder of a child, the confusion of an unbalanced person, the naivete of a peasant, the terrors and joys of animals."
Franz Marc
"Is there any more mysterious idea for the artist than the conception of how nature may be mirrored in the eye of the animal? How does a horse see the world, or an eagle, a deer, or a dog? How poor and how soulless is our convention of placing animals in a landscape which belongs to our eyes, instead of penetrating into the soul of the animal in order to imagine his perception?"
Franz Marc
"One is no longer concerned with the reproduction of nature, but destroys it in order to show the mighty laws that surge from behind the beautiful appearance of things."
Franz Marc

"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

Synopsis

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.

Biography

Franz Marc Photo

Childhood and Education

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.

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Franz Marc Biography Continues

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.
View Influences Chart

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
Franz Marc
Franz Marc
Years Worked: 1902 - 1916
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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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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