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 Franz Marc  (1880 - 1916)

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Lived/Active: Germany/Austria      Known for: abstract painting-landscape, animals

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BIOGRAPHY for Franz Marc
1880 (Munich, Germany)
1916 (Verdun, Austria)


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abstract painting-landscape, animals

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Franz Marc was born in Munich, Germany in 1880. His father was a successful Munich landscape and genre artist who influenced him strongly. Marc studied at the Munich Academy. He left there for Paris, then went home full of the doings of the Fauves and Cubists. In 1911 he joined with Klee and Kandinsky to found a group called the Blue Rider (Blaue Reiter). Their members aspired to nothing less than painting the essence of things. They put feeling first, faithfulness to nature or to formal conventions last. They were the clear sweet dawn of German expressionism. a school that later languished from too much heaviness, bitterness and swagger.

For Marc, as for his friend and mentor, Kandinsky, implementation of new art forms was indeed a religious crusade. He saw pure abstract art as truth and worked toward it with the same fervor he had once directed toward the study of theology. Marc loathed conflict of any kind. Man therefore revolted him, and animals he painted with strong, elaborately rhythmical compositions. He transformed their animality with flashing colors; a horse might be sky blue or fire red.

Marc's career ended abruptly with his conscription in 1914. He died in 1916 in Verdun.

Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
Time Magazine, January 2, 1956
John Dornberg in ARTnews, December 1987
Master Paintings from the Phillips Collection.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

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