Franz Marc - The Blue Rider



The Tiger (1912) by Franz Marc


With his bright colours and instantly appealing depictions of heroic animals Franz Marc has become one of the most popular artists in the reproduction posters and calendars market.


He was born in Munich in 1880 and in 1903 spent several months in Paris where he discovered the work of the Impressionists and post-Impressionists, in particular van Gogh. But back in his native Germany he suffered deep depression and got entangled in a mistaken marriage engagement which he only got out of by running away to Paris on the eve of the wedding.


Around 1910, however, his fortunes improved substantially when he developed a lasting friendship with fellow German artist August Macke. A year later he launched Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a journal which became the focal point for the expressionist movement in Germany.


The Fate of the Animals (1913) by Franz Marc


He developed a predilection for painting animals and in 1913 completed his best known work, a piece entitled The Fate of the Animals, and which he later described as a premonition of the terrible conflict that was to engulf Europe. 


In fact, throughout the first decade of the twentieth century, the major powers in Europe were all warmongering, and in 1914, bored with posturing war, they engaged themselves in full frontal hostilities in what became known as the Great War, or the War for the Civilisation of the World.


Franz Marc became a victim of the insanity when he was killed instantly by a shell splinter at Verdun in 1916.


Yellow Cow (1911) by Franz Marc


Horse in a Landscape (1910) by Franz Marc






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