In 1900, Marc enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and later went to Paris to study art. Unfortunately, he was drafted into the German army in 1914 at the start of the Great War. Although the German government later decided to withdraw the notable artists from combat, these orders did not reach Marc on the Verdun battlefield before he was mortally wounded in 1916. He was just 36 years old.
Much of his later work depicts animals, usually in natural settings. Marc considered that animals were closer to an innate and natural state of spirituality that humanity had lost with civilization. His work is characterized by bright primary colors, an almost cubist representation of animals, an austere simplicity and a deep sense of emotion. Marc gave emotional significance to the colors he used in his work: blue was used to represent masculinity and spirituality, yellow represented feminine joy and red violence.
Expressionism focuses on capturing emotions and feelings, rather than the actual appearance of the subject. Bright colors and bold strokes were often used to exaggerate these emotions and feelings. It remained popular during the Weimar Republic, especially in Berlin. The style has spread to a wide range of arts, including expressionist architecture, painting, literature, theater, dance, film, and music. Expressionism was an extremely important movement as it worked to change the purpose and standards of art for the rest of art history.
After the National Socialists took power in Germany, they suppressed modern art; in 1936 and 1937, the Nazis condemned the late Marc as Künstler tarter (degenerate artist) and ordered that around 130 of his works be removed from display in German museums. In 2012, many of his works were discovered in the former apartment of one of Hitler’s four official modernist art dealers, which the Nazis sold or traded to raise funds for the Third Reich. Today, his paintings receive record highs at auction. Franz Marc is considered one of Germany’s most influential painters, for his unique style and for the creative approach he took to depicting the everyday in his work.
Franz Marc’s works are in the public domain because they were created before 1923 and the artist has been dead for over 70 years.
This is an open thread.
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