Franz Marc was a leading member of abstract art in early 20th century. Born in Germany and trained as a painter there, his expressionist style is now globally recognised and has influenced the entire generation of artists, especially after founding the pioneering Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group with Kandinsky in 1911.
It is evident that cubist art and post-impressionists’ works at the time had a huge impact on Franz Marc’s canvas-based paintings, paving the way for his use of colours and compositions, but his printmaking — another art genre he was obsessed with — was equally brilliant and showcased his extraordinary creativity. Franz Marc died unfortunately at the age of 36 during the battle of Verdun, only 6 years after his first solo show, but his paintings and prints before the First World War are a huge legacy not only for his contemporaries but also for us to learn from today. During the war, the German Government has created a list of notable artists to be withdrawn from fighting. Franz Marc was on this list, however before he could reach safety he was struck in the head in the longest battle seen during World War I.
Franz Marc’s love of animals was profound throughout his short artistic career, but the iconic horse, fox and tiger, either in bright striking colours or monochromatic, are the best representations of his pursuit of the innocence of man and the spiritual nature of the world.