Introduction
  Benjamin, Walter
  Bismarck, Otto v.
  Brecht, Bertolt
  Celan, Paul
  Döblin, Alfred
  Fontane, Theodor
  Grosz, George
  Grünbein, Durs
  Heartfield, John
  Honigmann, Barbara
  Isherwood, Christopher
  Johnson, Uwe
  Kleist, Heinrich v.
  Kollwitz, Käthe
  Kracauer, Siegfried
  Lang, Fritz
  Lasker-Schüler, Else
  Liebermann, Max
  Liebknecht, Karl
  Luxemburg, Rosa
  Marc, Franz
  Ossietzky, Carl v.
  Riefenstahl, Leni
  Ruttmann, Walther
  Schinkel, Karl Friedrich
  Speer, Albert
  Tieck, Ludwig
  Tucholsky, Kurt
  Ury, Lesser
  Varnhagen, Rahel
  Wenders, Wim

 

 
Marc, Franz

b. Feb. 8, 1880, Munich
d. March 4, 1916, near Verdun, France


German painter and printmaker, founding member of "The Blue Rider" group, known for the intense nature mysticism of his paintings of animals.


Marc's early works were done in a self-consciously academic style, but in 1903 his stolid naturalism was lightened by his exposure to French Impressionist painting and later to the sensuous, curvilinear art of Munich's Jugendstil movement.

In 1909 Marc joined a group of Expressionist artists known as the Neue Künstlervereinigung (New Artists' Association). There he met August Macke, whose idiosyncratic use of broad areas of rich colour led Marc to experiment with similar techniques.

In 1910 Marc met Wassily Kandinsky, with whom he edited Der Blaue Reiter, the journal that gave its name to the group of artists, led by Kandinsky, who split from the Neue Künstlervereinigung in the following year. Having long been interested in Eastern philosophies and religions, Marc responded enthusiastically to Kandinsky's almost mystical notion that art should lay bare the spiritual essence of natural forms instead of copying their objective appearance with exact verisimilitude. Under the influence of Kandinsky, Marc came to believe that spiritual essence is best revealed through abstraction. He believed that civilization destroys human awareness of the all-pervading spiritual force of nature. Consequently, he was passionately interested in the art of primitive peoples, children, and the mentally ill. But his own work consisted primarily of animal studies, since he considered nonhuman forms of life to be the most expressive manifestation of the vital natural force.

This philosophy is mirrored in Marc's "Blue Horses" (1911), in which the powerfully simplified and rounded outlines of the horses are echoed in the rhythms of the landscape background, uniting both animals and setting into a vigorous and harmonious organic whole. In this painting as in his other mature works, Marc used a well-defined symbology of colour.

In 1912 Marc's admiration for the works of R. Delaunay and for the Italian Futurists made his art increasingly dynamic. He began to use the faceted space and forms of Delaunay's brightly coloured Cubistic compositions to express the brutal power and the timorous fragility of various forms of animal life.

Source

"Marc, Franz" Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
<http://www.eb.com:180/bol/topic?eu=52016&sctn=1>

Links

Web Museum: Franz Marc
ArtCyclopedia: Franz Marc
Franz Marc's Biography in German
Franz Marc: Biography and Gallery