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Franz Marc: one of the most important exponents of German expressionism

Franz Marc: one of the most important exponents of German expressionism


Born in Munich on 8 February 1880, Franz Marc is the son of the painter Wilhelm Marc and Sophie Maurice. Together with his brother Paul, Franz receives a very strict Calvinist education and for a period he wishes to become a pastor, an idea he abandons soon.

Studies and travels

In 1899 he begins his philosophy studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, but in 1900 he leaves that to study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

Afterwards, he travels a lot and begins to paint mainly portraits and landscapes; then he leaves the academy where he is studying.

In 1910 Marc decides to leave Munich and move to Sindelsdorf where he meets August Macke and Bernhard Koehler, a collector who buys several of Marc's paintings.

Also, in 1910 Franz Marc holds his first exhibition in Munich, an occasion that allows him to meet Kandinsky and Jawlensky.

In 1911, together with Wassily Kandinsky, he founds the artistic group and the almanac "The Blue Knight" (Der Blaue Reiter), and in the same year he meets the woman who would become his wife, the painter Maria Franck.

Later, he takes part in several exhibitions and also visits an exhibition dedicated to futurism, but in 1914, when the war breaks out, Franz decides to enlist as a volunteer; unfortunately, just the day before being exempted for artistic merits the artist is hit by two splinters of grenade and he loses his life. Initially he is buried in Gussainville, but in 1917, his wife decides to transfer her late husband's remains to Kochel am See, where they still rest.

Artistic style

The artist's intent is to "animalize art", so he analyses every detail of the animals. He wants to show the world how animals see everything around them instead of creating works that show how we see the world. Moreover, he gives a great importance to colour and he states that most Germans are wrong to reproduce the colours that objects take on under the light, as they are not the real colours. Blue and yellow are the colours he prefers and that can be seen in most paintings.

Works by Franz Marc

In his paintings Franz mainly depicts animals that have a particular meaning for him and he is initially influenced by the style of Van Gogh, while later his works are influenced by Parisian Orphism.

Here are his most famous works:

- Dog lying in the snow - 1911

- Deer in the snow - 1911

- Blue horse I- 1911

- The Yellow cow - 1911

- The Large Blue Horses - 1911

- Blue and black fox - 1911

- The dream - 1912

- Fate of the animals - 1913

- In the rain - 1913

Several paintings by Franz Marc belong to private collections, while many are kept in museums all around the world: at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York, etc.

Article by: Aurora Caraman

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