Franz Marc was an Expressionist painter who formed Der Blaue Reiter group with Wassily Kandinsky. They were part of an artistic movement who were searching for spiritual truth through their art. Marc believed that colour had a vocabulary of emotional keys that we instinctively understand, much in the same way that we understand music. This language of colour was one tool that Marc used to raise his art to a higher 'spiritual' plane, another was his choice of subject.
Franz Marc painted animals as they symbolised an age of innocence, like Eden before the Fall, free from the materialism and corruption of his own time. Animals in Marc's art are seldom painted in isolation. They are viewed as idealised creatures in perfect harmony with the natural world they inhabit.
Franz Marc yearned for a life on a higher spiritual plane. In fact, before he took up art, he studied Theology with a view to entering the priesthood. Ironically, his death was a sad contradiction of his hopes and dreams. He volunteered for service in the army at the start of World War 1 and never painted again. He was killed by a piece of shrapnel in 1916, during the assault on Verdun, the longest and bloodiest battle of the war.
Franz Marc Facts
Franz Marc was a German Expressionist artist.He was a co-founder of Der Blaue Reiter (the Blue Rider), a group of artists in the German Expressionist movement. In contrast to many Expressionists whose subjects had a social or political message, Franz Mark searched for a spiritual quality in his art. Franz Marc painted animals which he viewed as innocent creatures in an ideal world, uncorrupted by man. Franz Mark simplified his images into geometric shapes which fused the subject with its background. Franz Mark was killed in 1916 at the Battle of Verdun during World War 1.