Franz Marc was born in Munich, Germany in 1880. His father was a landscape painter and clearly was an influence for young franz. When Franz was 20 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. But it wasn’t until 1903 when Franz traveled to Paris and was immersed in a culture of art that was changing. He was impressed by the work of Van Gogh, the famous artist whose work helped spark the fauvist and expressionist movement. In 1911, Franz cofounded the art journal, the Blue Rider, which focused on the style of art known as expressionism.
This style of art, Expressionism, gained prominence in Germany at the beginning of the twentieth century, mirroring its sister movement, fauvism. Sparked by famous artists like Van Gogh, expressionists created scenes in every day life that, unlike the impressionists before them, seemed to have a subjective view of the world, that is to say the artists were invoking their own emotions into the piece as opposed to recreating reality exactly or at least in impression of reality that had marked the work of previous art forms. Colors were bright and often had a relation to certain emotions, as was the case in the work of Franz Marc.
Franz Marc’s most famous work was done with oil and a canvas although he also worked in lithography and woodcutting. A majority of his work depicts animals that are colored with block coloring and in some cases colors that have meaning, for example yellow signifies joy and femininity while blue means masculinity and spirituality.
I enjoy Franz Marc’s work. I don’t mean this to be belittling but it reminds me of the simple yet jovial pictures in children’s books. The abstract depictions of the animals and their somewhat distorted bodies gives them almost a dreamy state of being that again reminds me much of my childhood where simple yet abstractly drawn depictions of the natural world can offer so much fodder for the limitless minds of childhood.