Head of a Dead Horse, 1907-08
Franz Marc has always been a favorite painter. His belief in abstraction and his ability to fuse his life and art serve as a guide to sympathetic artists.
This post offers examples of his work and writings taken from the excellent introduction to his painting and philosophy: Franz Marc by Mark Rosenthal. The book is available here.
Creation I, 1914
Siberian Sheepdogs (Siberian Dogs in the Snow), 1909-10
Nude with Cat, 1910
Van Gogh is for me the most authentic, the greatest, the most poignant painter I know.
To paint a bit of the most ordinary nature, putting all one's faith and longings into it-
that is the supreme achievement...Now I paint...only the simplest things...
Only in them are the symbolism, the pathos, and the mystery of nature to be found.
Horse in the Landscape, 1910
Two Horses, Red and Blue, 1912
Playing Dogs, ca. 1912
The Little Yellow Horses, 1912
I am trying to enhance my sensibility for the organic rhythm that I feel is in all things...
The Tiger, 1912
Birth of the Horses, 1913
The creative artist honors the past by leaving it alone.
Horse Asleep, 1913 (?)
Watering Place on Rubinberge, 1913
Dead Deer, 1913
Fairy Animals I, 1913
"In this time of great struggle for a new art we fight like disorganized savages against an old, established power. The battle seems to be unequal, but spiritual matters are never decided by numbers, only by the power of ideas. The dreaded weapons of the savages are their new ideas. New ideas kill better than steel and destroy what was thought to be indestructible."
From Der Blaue Reiter- Marc's essay entitled "The 'Savages' of Germany"
Fate of the Animals, 1913
The Unfortunate Land of Tirol, 1913
The Wolves (Balkan War), 1913
There is only one blessing and redemption: death, the destruction of the form, which liberates the form, which liberates the soul...Death leads us back into normal being.
Fighting Forms, 1913
Broken Forms, 1914
Animals in Landscape (Painting with Bulls II), 1914
The Birds, 1914
From one of Marc's last letters, before his death, in the war, at Verdun in 1916:
I understand well that you speak as easily of death as of something that doesn't frighten you. I feel precisely the same. In this war, you can try it out on yourself- an opportunity life seldom offers one...nothing is more calming than the prospect of the peace of death...the one thing common to all. [it] leads us back into normal "being." The space between birth and death is an exception, in which there is much to fear and suffer. The only true, constant, philosophical comfort is the awareness that this exceptional condition will pass and that "I-consciousness" which is always restless, always piquant, in all seriousness inaccessible, will again sink back into its wonderful peace before birth...whoever strives for purity and knowledge, to him death always comes as a savior.