22 Facts About Franz Marc


Franz Moritz Wilhelm Marc was a German painter and printmaker, one of the key figures of German Expressionism.


Franz Marc was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter, a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists collaborating in it.


Franz Marc was drafted to serve in the German Army at the beginning of World War I, and died two years later at the Battle of Verdun.


Franz Marc's work is exhibited in many eminent galleries and museums.


Franz Marc was born in 1880 in Munich, the then capital of the Kingdom of Bavaria.


Franz Marc's father, Wilhelm Marc, was a professional landscape painter; his mother, Sophie, was a homemaker and a devout, socially liberal Calvinist.


At the age of 17 Marc wanted to study theology, as his older brother Paul had.


Franz Marc was first required to serve in the military for a year, after which, in 1900, he began studies instead at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, where his teachers included Gabriel von Hackl and Wilhelm von Diez.


In Paris, Franz Marc frequented artistic circles, meeting numerous artists and the actress Sarah Bernhardt.


Franz Marc discovered a strong affinity for the work of painter Vincent van Gogh.


Franz Marc married twice, first to Marie Schnur, then to Maria Franck; both were artists.


In 1906, Franz Marc traveled with his elder brother Paul, a Byzantine expert, to Thessaloniki, Mount Athos, and various other Greek locations.


In 1910 Franz Marc painted Nude with Cat and Grazing Horses, and showed works in the second exhibition of the Neue Kunstlervereinigung at the Thannhauser Galleries in Munich.


In 1911, Franz Marc founded the Der Blaue Reiter journal, which became the center of an artist circle, along with Macke, Wassily Kandinsky, and others who had decided to split off from the Neue Kunstlervereinigung movement.


Franz Marc painted The Tiger and Red Deer in 1912 and The Tower of Blue Horses, The Foxes, and Fate of the Animals in 1913.


Franz Marc took pleasure in creating a series of nine such tarpaulin covers in styles varying "from Manet to Kandinsky", suspecting that the latter could be the most effective against aircraft flying at 2,000 metres or higher.


Franz Marc was on the list but was struck in the head and killed instantly by a shell splinter during the Battle of Verdun in 1916 before orders for reassignment could reach him.


Franz Marc's work is characterized by bright primary color, an almost cubist portrayal of animals, stark simplicity and a profound sense of emotion.


Franz Marc gave an emotional meaning or purpose to the colors he used in his work: blue was used to portray masculinity and spirituality, yellow represented feminine joy, and red encased the sound of violence.


Franz Marc had completed the work in 1913, when "the tension of impending cataclysm had pervaded society", as one art historian noted.


Franz Marc's painting Landscape With Horses was discovered in 2012 along with more than a thousand other paintings, in the Munich apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt whose father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, was one of Hitler's four official art dealers of Modernist art the Nazis called "degenerate" which the Nazis sold or traded to raise cash for the Third Reich.


In 2017, the family of Kurt Grawi demanded the restitution of Franz Marc's painting The Foxes from Dusseldorf's Kunstpalast.