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Franz Marc

February 8, 1880 - March 4, 1916


Franz Moritz Wilhelm Marc was a German painter and printmaker, and one of the key figures of German Expressionism and Modernism. Marc was born in Munich in 1880 and was influenced by his father who was a landscape painter. At the age of nineteen, he enrolled in the arts program at Munich University. In 1903 and 1907, Marc visited France and was inspired by Parisian artists such as Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, and the Expressionist. He copied the style of many French modern artists to learn their techniques and create his own style. He adopted a more modern approach and used simplified lines and vivid colors to depict his subjects and scenes effectively represent reality, emotions, and spirituality. In 1910 Marc and Russian-born painter Wassily Kandinsky formed Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), an association of German Expressionist artists. Over his lifetime, he created more than sixty woodcuts and paintings. His work is characterized by bright, vivid colors. In addition, he took inspiration from the Cubist artistic style and applied it to his portrayal of animals, but simultaneously applied a sense of simplicity to his paintings which created compositions evoking nature and strong emotions. He gave colors a strong purpose in his paintings, and attached different meanings to them, for example, blue symbolized masculinity and spirituality, yellow represented femininity and joy, and red symbolized the sound of violence. Most of his work focused on the animal and sought to capture the spiritual and emotional essence of natural forms instead of focusing on its objective appearance in reality.

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