Franz Marc (1880 – 1916) was a German Impressionist Painter who was a founding member of the Der Blaue Reiter. This journal included group of artists who formed an expressionism movement in Germany. Most of work involves animals in natural settings as a subject matter, and is characterized by bright primary colors in a cubist style. His works show a strong sense of emotion. His use of color forms a predictable pattern: the color blue was used to portray masculinity and spirituality, yellow was used to represent feminine joy, and red was used to indicate the sound of violence. In his later years, during World War 1, Marc enlisted in the German army and was involved with military camouflage. Our set of Franz Marc patterns includes many of his animal images including Blue Horse 1, The Large Blue Horses, Dead Deer, The Yellow Cow, Blue Black Fox, The Waterfall, Siberian Sheepdogs, Animals in a Landscape, Mandrill, Two Horses in Front of a Red Rock, and The Little Blue Horses. There’s also a self portrait included.

Patterns Included In This Set:


Self Portrait

The Large Blue Horses

Blue Black Fox


Dog Lying in the Snow

The Dream

The Red Bull



Landscape with Horse Dog and Cattle

Animals in a Landscape


The Little Blue Horses

Deer in the Forest I

The Yellow Cow


The Lamb

Fighing Forms

Monkey Frieze


The Horse I

Sheaf of Grain

Larch Sapling


Small Composition III

Dead Deer

A Dog


Three Horses

Bathing Girls

The Waterfall


Two Horses in Front of a Red Rock

Large Lenggries Horses

Siberian Sheepdogs


Deer in the Snow

Red Deer



The Unfortunate Land of Tyrol

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Franz Marc (1880-1916) was a young man who spent much of his life at the crossroads of war and peace. Even though he would never return from the battlefields of World War I, a sense of peace echoed in his paintings. However, the serenity infused into his artwork did not come from the vibrant colors he used or the subject matter (mostly animals) he featured. His masterpieces had a place in the Expressionist movement because they revered the wisdom of artists who came before him and leveraged the collaboration of fellow artists from his era. But the first artist to influence the work of Franz Marc was his father, a landscape painter.

Born in Munich, Germany, Franz Marc followed in his father's footsteps and committed to become an artist when he attended Munich Art Academy. He extended his art education by traveling to France in the early 1900's. There, he observed the artwork of Parisian Impressionists. On a later trip, in 1907, Marc was introduced to the work of post-impressionists Paul Gaugin and Vincent van Gogh. He also came to know Robert Delaunay, whom he met in 1912. Delaunay was known for his futuristic approach to art. This, along with cubism, would heavily influence Marc's style and lead him to become a pioneer of abstract art.

Marc's art was characterized by his use of bold and vibrant colors. In fact, by the age of 30, which was near the pinnacle of the young artist's career, Marc had laid out a set of principles to guide his use of color. In a letter to artist August Macke, Marc wrote, "Blue is the male principle, astringent and spiritual. Yellow is the female principle, gentle, gay and spiritual. Red is matter, brutal and heavy and always the colour to be opposed and overcome by the other two."

When looking at Marc's work and reading his biographies, it becomes clear that he valued the wisdom of fellow artists. However, nothing proves this more than the "Der Blaue Reiter" almanac, which Franz Marc spearheaded in 1911. The title, which translates to "The Blue Rider," represented a group of artists who rejected Neue Künstlervereinigung München, which was a strict form of art principles set forth by Wassily Kandinsky in 1909. The Blue Rider artists exhibited under this name until 1914.

In addition to color, Franz Marc was known for painting animals using distinct angles. He frequently featured animals in their natural habitats. Portraying members of the animal kingdom with bright color and sharp angles allowed Marc to enhance the emotion of the being and its setting.

Some translated titles of Franz Marc's artwork include: Dog Lying in Snow; The Yellow Cow; Deer in the Woods; Tiger; The Lamb; and Fate of the Animals. Actually, Fate of the Animals is known throughout Germany as Tierschicksale. This piece is arguably one of Marc's most profound works of art. Today, it is displayed at the Kunstmuseum Basel in Germany, where, on the back of the canvas these words appear: "Und Alles Sein ist flamed Leid" ("And all being is flaming agony"). He painted Tierschicksale in 1913. Shortly after, Marc volunteered to serve the German forces in World War I. While in service, he explained the painting in a letter to his wife, saying, "[It] is like a premonition of this war-horrible and shattering. I can hardly conceive that I painted it."

The concept of war pressed heavily on Franz Marc's soul. He was distraught by the realities of World War I but still volunteered to fight. In the end, he never returned home. Franz Marc died at the young age of 36.

Despite his short life and abbreviated career, Marc influenced the world of art and advanced the Expressionist art movement. To this day his art is appreciated for its uplifting, emotional value. Even though it was painted in the midst of a dark era, the work of Franz Marc continues to master the art of tranquility.

WebMuseum, Paris

The Artchive

Franz Marc | Paintings, Quotes, and Biography

Wikipedia - Franz Marc

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