Franz Marc (1880-1916)
The painter Franz Marc was one of the German Expressionists. He was heavily influenced by Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse, and was a contemporary of August Macke and Wassily Kandinsky. Expressionist artists sought to express the meaning of emotional experience rather than physical reality.
Marc was influenced by the Swiss painter Jean Bloé was told him to ‘capture the essence of the animal’. He studied animal anatomy so he could recreate them ‘from the inside’, however leading to depiction of a feeling of the animal, not a zoological accurate image.
Two Cats, 1912, oil on canvas
In this painting, Marc shows his influence from Cubism. He was interested in the spirituality in art, and with colour theory.
He associated the primary colours thus –
Blue = masculinity – astringent and spiritual
Yellow = femininity – gentle, gay and spiritual
Red = matter – brutal, heavy and always the colour to be overcome by the other two.
In this picture the artist was clearly on the way to abstraction.
Marc came to a premature, sad end at age 36 : after mobilization of the German Army, the government identified notable artists to be withdrawn from combat for their own safety. Marc was on the list but was struck in the head and killed instantly by a shell splinter during the Battle of Verdun in 1916 before orders for reassignment could reach him.
A Marc – inspired oil sketch of two of my cats:
The Cat – 3500 years of the Cat in Art by Caroline Bugler;
Modern & Contemporary Art, by Michele Dantini.
I am an artist who makes work of animals and people.
Three cats live with me – Maine coon Orlando, Bengal Pandora and black moggy Rio.