Marc, Franz

Marc, Franz Biography

German painter, who was one of the leading members of the expressionist Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group. Franz Marc was born in Munich. Franz Marc is best known for his oil paintings of animals, particularly horses and deer, in which he attempted to express his mystical veneration of nature. In 1910 Franz 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 Kunstlervereinigung in the following year. Having long been interested in Eastern philosophies and religions, Franz Marc responded enthusiastically to Kandinsky's almost mystical notion that art should lay bare the spiritual essence of natural forms instead ofcopying their objective appearance with exact verisimilitude. Under the influence of Kandinsky, Franz Marc came to believe that spiritual essence is best revealed through abstraction. In artworks such as Blue Horses (1911, Walker Art Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota), he used stylized lines and curves and brilliant unrealistic color to create and heighten the sense of nature idealized. After 1913, in response to cubism and futurism, he turned to abstraction, creating moods of clashing, discordant uncertainty. Franz Marc was killed in action during World War I.

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