Franz Marc

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Franz Marc (1910)
Marc autograph.png

Franz Moritz Wilhelm Marc (born February 8, 1880 in Munich , † March 4, 1916 in Braquis near Verdun , France ) was a German painter , draftsman and graphic artist . He is considered one of the most important Expressionist painters in Germany . In addition to Wassily Kandinsky , he was a co-founder of the Der Blaue Reiter editorial group , which opened its first exhibition in Munich on December 18, 1911. The Blue Rider emerged from the Neue Künstlervereinigung München , of which Marc was a brief member. For the almanac Der Blaue Reiter and other publications he wrote art theory .

While Marc's early works were still in the naturalistic style of academicism , after a visit to Paris in 1907 he devoted himself to post-impressionism under the influence of Gauguin and van Gogh . Between 1910 and 1914 he used stylistic elements of Fauvism , Cubism , Futurism and Orphism , but did not completely separate himself from the subject in his work. During this time he created his famous paintings, which mainly have animal motifs such as the tiger , blue horse I , the yellow cow , the tower of the blue horses or animal fates . Marc's first abstract paintings such as Small Composition I and Fighting Forms were created in 1913 and 1914. He was drafted at the beginning of the First World War and fell two years later at the age of 36 before Verdun.


Childhood and school days

Plaque on Franz Marc's birthplace

Franz Marc was born on February 8, 1880 as the second and last son of the Marc family at Schillerstraße 35 in Munich. His father Wilhelm Marc , who had first completed a law degree before taking painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich , was a landscape and genre painter . He came from a Bavarian civil servant family. His mother Sophie, née Maurice, came from Alsace and had spent her childhood in French-speaking Switzerland, where she attended a strictly Calvinist boarding school. She had worked as an educator in the family of her future husband. Wilhelm and Sophie Marc had married late.

Wilhelm Marc: Franz Marc cutting wood , around 1895, Franz Marc Museum , Kochel am See

Franz and his brother Paul Marc , who was three years older , were baptized Catholics but raised Protestants. They grew up bilingual. Marc spent the summer of 1884 for the first time in Kochel am See , where the family stayed almost every summer for the next few years. Both brothers attended the Luitpold-Gymnasium in Munich, where Albert Einstein was a classmate for a time.

The father Wilhelm Marc left the Catholic Church and converted to the Protestant faith in 1895. Franz Marc was thinking of studying classical philology or theology like his older brother Paul - as he told Pastor Otto Schlier, whose confirmation classes had made a lasting impression on him, in a letter in 1897. As an 18-year-old student, he dealt with literature and philosophy, in particular with the work of Thomas Carlyle and Friedrich Nietzsche . In 1899 Franz Marc passed the Abitur at the Luitpold-Gymnasium.


Academy of Fine Arts Munich, around 1900, photochrom

In 1899 Marc rejected the idea of ​​a spiritual profession and enrolled in a philology degree at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . Before starting his studies, he began his one-year military service in Lagerlechfeld near Augsburg in October of the same year and learned to ride. During this time he decided to take up his father's profession. In May 1901 he enrolled at the Munich Art Academy . He received lessons in anatomy from Gabriel von Hackl and painting from Wilhelm von Diez , both of whom taught in the tradition of the Munich school of painting in the 19th century. During the semester break in 1901 and 1902, he stayed at the Staffelalm in Jachenau , which was near the family's holiday resort in Kochel am See. In 1902 he temporarily conducted studies in Dachauer Moos, north of Munich .

With his college friend Friedrich Lauer, who had sufficient funds, he traveled through France in May 1903. A French-language diary has been preserved from this period. First they stopped in Paris for a few months , at the end of July they went to Brittany , then to Normandy . In Paris, Marc visited the Paris museums, especially the antique collections, copied paintings in the Louvre and drew in the streets. He studied the sights and bought Japanese woodcuts in the art trade at Flammarion , the technique and composition of which are said to have impressed him greatly. In the Notre-Dame-de-Chartres cathedral he was fascinated by the Gothic stained glass windows. After returning to Munich at the beginning of September of the same year, Marc left the art academy, disappointed with the academic classes.

First studio and first marriage

Girl's head (portrait of Maria Franck) , 1906, State Collection of Graphic Art, Munich

In 1904 Marc moved out of his parents' house in Pasing and set up a studio at Kaulbachstraße 68 in Schwabing . During this time he had an affair with the art and antiques connoisseur Annette Simon , née von Eckardt (1871–1934), wife of the Munich professor of Indology , Richard Simon (1865–1934) , who was nine years older . As a painter, writer and copyist, she had good relationships with the art trade and antiquarians. She arranged for Marc, who was suffering from financial worries, for graphics and the opportunity to earn something by selling books, Japanese woodblock prints and other antiques from his collection.

In February 1905, Franz Marc met the art student Maria Franck at the Bauernkirchweihball, a Schwabing costume party . As she returned to Berlin shortly afterwards, they lost sight of each other until December 1905. Towards the end of the year or in March 1906, Annette Simon von Eckardt separated from Franz Marc, but they remained lifelong friends.

Two women on the mountain, sketch , 1906. It shows Marie Schnür (left) and Maria Franck, Franz Marc Museum , Kochel

In order to distract himself from the emotional strain, he traveled to Saloniki and Mount Athos in April 1906 with his brother, who had become a Byzantinist and had a scientific assignment in Greece . After this study trip, Franz Marc retired to work in Kochel, where he stayed until autumn. Both Maria Franck and another friend, the painter Marie Schnür , followed him. The three got involved in a triangular relationship in which Marc turned more and more to Schnür, who was eleven years older than him. Marie Schnür wanted to take her son, born out of wedlock in Paris in February 1906, from the relationship with Angelo Jank (another source names August Gallinger as the father), and Franz Marc gave her a promise of marriage, which he informed Maria Franck in November 1906.

Franz Marc and Marie Schnür married on March 27, 1907 in Munich. On the same day he traveled alone to Paris, where he was particularly impressed by the works of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin . He expressed his enthusiasm for the local art and exhibition scene in reports that he sent to Maria Franck. The following year, on July 8, the marriage with Marie Schnür was divorced. However, since Marc accused Marc of adultery with Maria Franck, contrary to the agreements, Marc was initially unable to enter into a second marriage under current law.

Friendship with August Macke and Bernhard Koehler

August Macke: Portrait of Franz Marc, 1910, Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin

In 1909, the Munich teaching aid dealer Wilhelm Plessmann commissioned Franz Marc to design weaving patterns for the Plessmann hand loom . The texts were written by his former lover Annette Simon-von Eckardt.

Exhibition poster Franz Marc, 1910

August Macke , whom he met in early 1910, visited him with his cousin, the painter Helmuth Macke and Bernhard Koehler jun. (1882–1964), the son of his future patron Bernhard Koehler senior. , in his studio in Munich's Schellingstrasse 33. The occasion for the visit were two lithographs by Marc in the Munich art dealership by Franz Josef Brakl , which Macke had excited. For Marc it was the first contact with a like-minded artist. In 1912, a jointly created mural entitled Paradise was created in Macke's studio in Bonn . He had a lifelong friendship with Macke, and Marc had a lively exchange of letters with him on questions of art theory .

Koehler jun. had had some pictures of Marc sent to his father by Brakl. Subsequently, Koehler sen. Marc in his studio at the end of January and bought the 1905 painting The Dead Sparrow , which was on Marc's desk and which the artist was extremely reluctant to part with. The picture formed the cornerstone of Koehler's extensive Marc collection. As a result, he supported the artist, who was living on the poverty line, with 200 marks a month and received pictures of his choice in return, initially limited to one year.

In February 1910, Franz Marc had his first solo exhibition at the Brakl art dealer, which included 31 paintings as well as gouaches and lithographs. Two months later, Marc and Maria Franck moved to Sindelsdorf to the house of master carpenter Josef Niggl, where they lived until 1914. Both of them gave up their studios in Munich. Today this house has the address "Franz-Marc-Straße 1".

In 1911 Marc refused a dispensation to marry Maria Franck, which was why they both traveled to London at the beginning of June to enter into a marriage under English law, which, according to Maria Marc, did not succeed. Nevertheless, from then on they referred to each other publicly as a married couple.

Member of the New Artists' Association Munich

Franz Marc and Maria Franck in Sindelsdorf, photographed by Wassily Kandinsky in 1911

In December 1909, Marc saw the first exhibition of the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (NKVM) several times in the Modern Gallery Heinrich Thannhauser in the Arco-Palais at Theatinerstraße 7. From September 1 to 14, 1910, the second NKVM exhibition took place at the a total of 29 artists were involved. For example, works by Georges Braque , Pablo Picasso and Georges Rouault were exhibited . The exhibition - like the one in 1909 - was attacked in the press and in public, whereupon Marc, who had visited this exhibition, wrote a positive review that went to the gallery owner Thannhauser through Reinhard Piper .

Franz Marc met Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter on January 1, 1911 in Marianne von Werefkin's studio apartment at Giselastrasse 23 , and on the following day attended a concert by Arnold Schönberg in Munich with them, accompanied by Alexej von Jawlensky and Helmuth Macke . Under the impact of the new music of Schoenberg Kandinsky painted shortly after the picture Impression III (Concert) and wrote the unfamiliar composers a letter, which he triggered a substantive discussion, in Kandinsky's "Theses on the relationship of the dissonances in art current in the Painting as in the musical composition of Schönberg [...] were taken up and continued. ”On February 4, 1911, Franz Marc was appointed third chairman of the NKVM. Marc presented his work and that of his girlfriend Maria Franck.

In the autumn of 1911, tensions between the conservative members and the Kandinsky group increased, as a result of which on December 2 there was an uproar about the painting Composition V / The Last Judgment by Kandinsky, which was rejected by the jury because of its oversize . Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter, Franz Marc and Alfred Kubin resigned on the same day .

Member of the editorial team of the Blue Rider

Reh im Walde I , 1911, on permanent loan to the Kunsthalle Emden

After the spin-off ( Secession of) from the NKVM founded by Kandinsky and Marc Community Blaue Reiter had formed, on 18 December 1911, the "Editor's first exhibition, The Blue Rider '' was opened in the gallery Thannhauser. At the same time, the third exhibition of the remaining eight members of the NKVM ran on the floor above. 14 artists were represented at the first exhibition, in addition to Marc and Kandinsky, artists such as the Burljuk brothers , Heinrich Campendonk , Robert Delaunay , Jean-Bloé Niestlé , Elisabeth Epstein , August Macke , Gabriele Münter, Henri Rousseau and Arnold Schönberg . Franz Marc was represented, among other things, with his paintings Deer in the Forest I and The Yellow Cow ; both can be seen in a photo by Gabriele Münter, who documented the exhibition photographically.

The exhibition then went on tour to other cities, such as the Gereonsklub in Cologne and Herwarth Walden's gallery Der Sturm in Berlin . Further stations up to 1914 included Bremen, Hagen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Budapest, Oslo, Helsinki, Trondheim and Gothenburg. The traveling exhibition also featured works by Jawlensky and Werefkin, who in the meantime had also left the NKVM and joined the Blue Rider.

The second exhibition of the Blue Rider followed from February 12 to March 18, 1912 under the programmatic title "Black and White" in the Munich book and art dealer Hans Goltz at Brienner Straße  8. It only showed prints and drawings, below also works by Paul Klee and the Brücke artists. It was here that Franz Marc first met Paul Klee, a meeting that resulted in a close friendship between the two artists. In May 1912, Marc and Kandinsky, financially supported by Bernhard Koehler , published the almanac Der Blaue Reiter with a title woodcut by Kandinsky at Piper in Munich.

Sonderbund and First German Autumn Salon

The Tiger , 1912, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus , Munich

In October 1912 Franz and Maria Marc visited the Macke couple in Bonn and looked at the Sonderbund exhibition in Cologne. Shortly before the opening in the summer there had been a dispute between Marc and the co-organizer Macke over the judging of some pictures. But Marc was meanwhile very pleased with the exhibition. His painting The Tiger was present in the exhibition as picture no. 450. The friends decided to travel to Paris, where they met Robert Delaunay , who had exhibited at the Blue Rider, personally. His work, which Guillaume Apollinaire gave the term Orphic Cubism and which, dominated by color, led to “pure painting”, to the separation of the representational, impressed and shaped both painters. For Macke it was a “revelation”, Marc merely adopted certain stylistic devices from Delaunay.

The tower of the blue horses , 1912/1913. Opaque color and ink on paper, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung Munich

In December 1912, Marc met the poet Else Lasker-Schüler , the divorced wife of Herwarth Walden, in the Berlin home of his in-laws . They soon developed a close friendship, which resulted in a lively correspondence between Prince Jussuf von Theben (Else Lasker-Schüler) and Franz Marc until the summer of 1914. In the following years Marc sent her a total of 28 hand-painted postcards . The watercolor The Tower of the Blue Horses was a New Year's greeting for 1913 and is the only surviving colored design for the oil painting of the same name, which has been lost since 1945 .

Woodcut of Marc's planned Bible edition, 1914, British Museum , London

In the spring of 1913, Marc and Kandinsky planned to publish an illustrated Bible, in which Alfred Kubin, Paul Klee, Erich Heckel and Oskar Kokoschka were to participate with their consent . Marc had chosen the chapter Genesis from the 1st book of Moses. It was to be published by Piper Verlag as a Blue Rider edition. The negotiations about the publication failed at the outbreak of the First World War .

On June 3, 1913, the civil marriage with Maria Franck took place. Marc reported the event to Kandinsky the day after: “I regret that I didn't have the fun for you and Klee to make our best man yesterday - they are playing a comedy at the Munich registry office that exceeds the limits of what is permitted and imaginable . "

In the same year Marc played a key role in organizing the exhibition of Herwarth Walden's First German Autumn Salon , which took place in Berlin from September 1913. 90 artists from France, Germany, Russia, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and the United States showed their works there. The Delaunay couple, the co-organizers Marc, Macke and Kandinsky as well as other Blue Rider artists and the Futurists were well represented. Marc had given seven paintings, including The Tower of the Blue Horses , Tyrol and Tierschicksale , which Klee gave the title, to the exhibition.

Relocation to Ried and the start of the war

At the beginning of 1914, Marc received the offer of a production of William Shakespeare's Der Sturm by Hugo Ball , at that time the dramaturge of the Münchner Kammerspiele . But already on April 18th he gave up after critical newspaper reports and wrote to Hugo Ball: "It really has to be said [...] that we want to reorganize the scene ourselves [...] and shape it according to our artistic imagination."

At the end of April 1914, Marc bought a villa in Ried near Benediktbeuern - belonging to Kochel am See since 1918 - in exchange for his parents' house in Pasing . With the financial support of his mother-in-law, he bought a piece of land to provide an enclosure for the deer, which he had also bought. There was no further expansion of a studio; Nevertheless, his last large paintings were created in Ried, partly abstract , partly representational.

In August Marc and Macke were called up for military service in the First World War . In previous biographies, they were referred to as war volunteers , but recent publications contradict this claim. Marc's force was transferred to the French front at the end of the month. Like many artists and intellectuals of the time, both tended to exaggerate the outbreak of war as a “positive authority”. Macke fell just two months later. His death hit Marc deeply, but initially did not change his attitude. In his obituary, which was only published after the war, he expressed mourning for his friend, but maintained this willingness to make sacrifices. In his “Letters from the Field” it becomes clear that he saw a sick Europe that had to be purified by the war. A change of heart only began later, as was the case with many other people, such as Max Beckmann . In October 1915 Marc wrote a letter to Lisbeth Macke , his friend's widow. In it he described the war as "the meanest human catch we have surrendered to".


An application in early 1916 for "exemption" from military service, which was later rejected, remained meaningless: On March 4, 1916, Franz Marc fell as a lieutenant in the Landwehr while exploring northwest of Braquis , just under 20 km east of Verdun . He had been hit in the head by a shrapnel. The next morning Franz Marc was buried under a simple memorial stone in the park of Gussainville Castle near Braquis. In 1917 Maria Marc had his body transferred to Kochel am See . A plaque commemorates him at the place of his death on the D108 between Braquis and Herméville-en-Woëvre . World icon

“Now an artist has fallen who cannot fall. His kingdom is out of this world. But the earth was at home to him. The earth that creates living things and bears living things. The earth seemed to him, the animals, the forests and the rocks spoke to him. "

- Herwarth Walden : Obituary in Der Sturm


Franz Marc used techniques such as oil paints , gouaches , pencils , watercolor and created woodcuts . His preferred motifs were the animals as a symbol of originality and purity, as they embody the idea of ​​creation and live in harmony with nature. With these pictures he expressed his utopia of a paradisiacal world. The use of color in his works is not only expressive, but also symbolic, as Marc established his own color laws.

A total of 244 oil paintings are listed in Catalog I , published by Beck . The continuous catalog raisonné II lists 261 drawings and watercolors, 94 postcards, 8 glass pictures, 17 handicraft designs on paper and 11 handicrafts, 9 embroidery and 15 plastic works. Some of the works could not be attributed to Franz Marc by the art experts.

The artistic beginnings

Moor huts in the Dachauer Moos , 1902, Franz Marc Museum , Kochel am See

In 1901 Marc worked intensively, albeit withdrawn, in the painting class of the artist Wilhelm von Diez , who came from the Munich school and had developed a virtuoso, dark-toned history painting . While works on paper are known from the beginnings of Marc's work from 1897, oil paintings only date from 1902. The landscapes that were created in the summer of 1902 on the Staffelalm above Kochel am See and in the Dachauer Moos are characterized by naturalism . An example of his traditional painting is the painting Moorhütten im Dachauer Moos from 1902, which - meticulously painted - is dominated by dark browns and greens.

In the run-up to Expressionism

Between 1904 and 1907 Marc was looking for his own style. In an illustration cycle for a volume with texts by poets such as Richard Dehmel , Carmen Sylva and Hans Bethge , he dealt with Art Nouveau . The book was published in an edition of 110 copies under the title Stella Peregrina posthumously in 1917 by the publisher Franz Hanfstaengl in Munich. Annette Simon-von Eckardt had hand-colored 18 facsimile illustrations of Marc from this period, the introduction was by Hermann Bahr .

Fresco by Franz Marc on the Staffelalm, 1904–1908

In 1905 Marc became friends with the young Swiss animal painter Jean-Bloé Niestlé . This encouraged him to implement the preference for animals in such a way that they should not be depicted as zoological representations; rather, the artist should put himself in the animal's shoes and capture its essence in painting. The encounter with Niestlé gave Marc the impetus to further develop animal painting as a means of artistic expression. In the same year, the first example was The Dead Sparrow .

He spent the summer of 1905 withdrawn again on the Staffelalm, where he painted pictures in a less colorful style in the traditional way with light and shadow. In that year, through Marie Schnür, he came into contact with the Scholle artists , whose painters practiced a variant of Art Nouveau painting in the wake of Impressionism . In the autumn he met Adolf Hölzel , the co-founder of the Dachau artists' colony in Dachau , which at the time was engaged in open-air painting, from which Marc was not to get rid of until December 1910.

Franz Marc and Maria Franck spent the summer of 1908 painting intensively in Lenggries . The impression that van Gogh's art made on him was reinforced in December 1909 by an exhibition at the Kunsthaus Brakl in Munich, where he helped hang the seven paintings on show. He dealt with Van Gogh's formal language, and the result is documented in the painting Cats on Red Cloth , created between December 1909 and early January 1910 . During a visit to Berlin in May 1910, he saw works by the Fauvist painters Henri Matisse and Kees van Dongen and then dealt with the Fauvist style in the painting Nude with Cat . His lover Maria Franck served as a model for the painting .

Animalization of art

Grazing Horses I , 1910, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich

From 1910, after moving to Sindelsdorf, Marc, for whom the animal increasingly became a metaphor for creatural purity and innocence, concentrated on the animal image in rural seclusion. After naturalistic beginnings and experiences with impressionism, he came a few steps closer to his goal of “animalising art” in his pictures and sculptures around 1909. In an essay for the book Das Tier in der Kunst published by Reinhard Piper in 1910 , Marc describes:

"I try to increase my feeling for the organic rhythm of all things, try to empathize pantheistically in the trembling and running of blood in nature, in trees, in animals, in the air."
Dog lying in the snow , 1910/11, Städel , Frankfurt

During this phase, Marc tried to “animalise” his pictures by making them vibrate and parallelize the lines, making the interior, the organic life of the animals visible in their harmonious connection with their surroundings. The motifs for this are the rhythmically arranged groups of horses on the pasture for several years, as shown by his Grazing Horses I , still kept in naturalistic colors . Even Jakob von Uexküll in his publication had 1,909 environmental and internal world of the animals , which the well-read Franz Marc had probably already taken note of that time, detailed the "inner life" treated the animals. For Marc this led to the question of how a horse, an eagle, a deer or a dog sees the world, which led to a self-critical classification of his own conventions - “to place the animals in a landscape that belongs to our eyes instead of us to sink into the soul of the animal in order to guess its image circle ”.

The painting Lying Dog in the Snow , a representation of Marc's Siberian Shepherd Dog Russi, for example, radiates complete harmony in the coexistence of animals and nature; it reflects the oneness between the surrounding nature, the resting of the snow and the resting of the dog on it - "a common silence of animate and inanimate nature."

Color in Marc's factory

The Yellow Cow , 1911, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum , New York

In 1910 Marc was still struggling to “get out of the randomness of color”, and on December 6th of that year confessed: “[...] but you have to know a lot more about color and not fumble around with lighting so haphazardly”. Two days later, he remembered a conversation in which Marianne von Werefkin explained to Helmuth Macke that “almost all Germans make the mistake of taking light for color, while color is something completely different and with light, i. H. Lighting has nothing to do with it. ”Stimulated by this remark, Marc began to deal with the theory of colors by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Wilhelm von Bezold as well as with the color symbolism of Philipp Otto Runge , whereby Adolf Erbslöh helped him out with a“ small edition of Chevreul ” .

In lively correspondence with August Macke , he described in detail his findings and the intention to create his own color theory from them. He formulated it in a letter to Macke dated December 12, 1910:

“Blue is the male principle, bitter and spiritual. Yellow is the feminine principle, gentle, cheerful and sensual. Red is the matter, brutal and heavy and always the color that must be fought and overcome by the other two! Do you mix B. the serious, spiritual blue with red, then you increase the blue to unbearable mourning, and the reconciling yellow, the complementary color to violet, becomes indispensable. [...] If you mix red and yellow to orange, you give the passive and feminine yellow a mega-fairy, sensual power that the cool, spiritual blue becomes indispensable again, the man, and indeed the blue immediately and automatically stands next to orange, the colors love each other. Blue and orange, a thoroughly festive sound. But if you mix blue and yellow to green, you awaken red, matter, the earth, to life. "

Beginning of abstraction

Blue Horse I , 1911, oil on canvas, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus , Munich

In 1911 the paintings Blue Horse I (Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich) and Blue Horse II ( Kunstmuseum Bern ) were created. In them, Marc turns blue from an "appearance color" to an "essential color". With the animal image he found a symbol for a "spiritualization of the world". Like the blue flower of romanticism, the blue horse expresses the search for redemption from earthly heaviness and material bondage. In contrast to blue, Marc realized his idea of ​​yellow as “the feminine principle, gentle, cheerful, sensual” in the painting of the yellow cow , also from 1911, which expresses joie de vivre. The tiger from 1912 has a cubist design language that Marc had got to know in the pictures of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque at the second exhibition of the NKVM . He converted them expressively.

Fighting forms , 1914, Pinakothek der Moderne , Munich
Tyrol , 1914, State Gallery of Modern Art , Munich

The pictures, which were created up to 1914, approach a “prismatic” and “crystalline” abstraction , which arise from a fusion of the forms of Italian Futurism and Orphism by Robert Delaunay . Examples of this are the non-representational small compositions that were created in four motifs between late 1913 and early 1914.

The horse bodies in The Tower of the Blue Horses from 1913, which has been missing since 1945 , already appear abstract, composed of geometric shapes, and the landscape background consists only of abstract formations. His abstract painting style is shown even more strongly in the painting Tierschicksale from the same year, on which horses, pigs and wolves appear indistinctly between pointed, threatening shapes and a blue and white deer can be seen in the center with its head stretching extremely upwards. On the back of the picture Marc noted: "And all being is flaming sorrow"; In a letter to his wife in 1915, he interpreted this text as a premonition of war.

Four non-representational works originated in Ried in 1914, the paintings Cheerful Forms , Playing Forms , Fighting Forms and Broken Forms . In the titles the ambivalence of his feelings is evident. An interpretation of the fighting forms compares the red color field on the left with an eagle pouncing on an undefined dark being. Representational than the shapes is Tirol on which a Madonna is recognizable. The last painting is Deer in the Walde II , which shows three deer in a clearing in a highly abstract form. The animal had lost its importance to him; In a letter from the field to his wife on April 12, 1915, Marc wrote:

“Very early on I felt people were 'ugly'; the animal seemed to me more beautiful, purer; but also in him I discovered so much that was unfeeling and ugly, so that my representations [...] instinctively became more and more schematic, more abstract. "



In the fight for art

Reinhard Piper published Marc's essay on the animal in art in his publishing house in 1910 . Marc wrote to the publisher:

“'My goals are not in line with special animal painting. I'm looking for a good, pure and light style in which at least a part of what modern painters will have to say to me can be completely absorbed '. Other art theoretical writings such as The Constructive Ideas of New Painting from March 1912 can be reached in excerpts via the following footnote. "

In the summer of 1911, the magazine was published in the battle for the Arts at Piper Verlag, in Kandinsky and Marc, among other artists, gallery managers and writers in response contributions to the polemic A protest of German artists of Carl Vinnen written. On the occasion of the purchase of a van Gogh painting by the director of the Kunsthalle Bremen, Gustav Pauli , in April 1911, Vinnen spoke out against the “foreign infiltration of German art”, and in his appeal he won the signatures of Thomas Theodor Heine , Franz by Stuck and Käthe Kollwitz . The controversy became known as the Bremen Artists' Dispute .

In March 1912 the art magazine Pan Marc published an article on "Die Neue Malerei", in which he wanted to prove that his painting, which he described as "new", was not due to Impressionism , but at most, and then only to a limited extent, to Paul Cézanne . Every time has its quality and the artistic value or lack of value of the new painterly ideas must be discussed. Max Beckmann , who had stood by Marc in Im Kampf um die Kunst , criticized Marc's statements in the following Pan by bringing the works of Gauguin , Matisse and Picasso closer to the arts and crafts and ending with the sentence: “The laws of Art is eternal and immortal, like the moral law in us ”. Marc answered in pan , but two points of view collided that are still being fought out in the present.

Almanac Der Blaue Reiter 1912

Subscription prospectus for the Almanac Der Blaue Reiter , 1912

In May 1912 the almanac Der Blaue Reiter was published with a dedication to Hugo von Tschudi in an edition of 1200 copies, which Kandinsky concluded with three long articles. At the request of the publisher Piper, the word “Almanach” had to be removed from the title woodcut by Kandinsky before going to press. The work did not become an annual publication, as originally planned, but was only reprinted in 1914. 141 image reproductions, 19 text contributions and three music supplements were listed in the book. Marc was represented with illustrations of his paintings and with three short introductory chapters.

Cover illustration of the Blue Rider by Kandinsky, 1912

In Spiritual Goods he complained that spiritual goods were valued less than material ones. In the second article, Die "Wilden" Deutschlands , he explained that the modern artists - the "Wilden", based on the Fauves - the Brücke , the New Secession in Berlin and the New Artists' Association in Munich consistently followed the path of the spiritual renewal of art :

“The most beautiful prismatic colors and the famous cubism have become meaningless as the goal of the 'savages'. Their thinking has a different goal: through their work of their time to create symbols that belong on the altars of the coming spiritual religion and behind which the technical producer disappears. "

In the last chapter, Two Pictures , Marc juxtaposed an illustration from Grimm's Fairy Tales from 1832 with the painting Lyrisches von Kandinsky from 1911. Both pictures are "of the same deep inwardness of artistic expression". The authors, along with the two editors Marc and Kandinsky such as Delaunay, Macke and Schönberg, provided texts and image examples from different areas of the visual arts, folk art, music and theater. The Almanac by artists for artists became one of the most important German-language programmatic writings for the art of the 20th century; it was published in all world languages.


Drawing from Marc's sketchbook from the field , published in 1920

For the First German Autumn Salon in September 1913, Marc wrote a foreword for the catalog on behalf of his exhibiting artist colleagues, in addition to Herwarth Walden's preface .

Franz Marc's first war pamphlet appeared in the Vossische Zeitung on December 15, 1914, under the title In Purgatory of War ; he had written it in October of the same year during a stay in the hospital because of dysentery . In the following year, his second war pamphlet appeared under the title The Secret Europe . In it: “The war goes around. Europe is sick with the old hereditary nuisance and wants to get well, that's why it wants the terrible bloodstream [...] The war is waged for purification and the sick blood is shed. "

Marc's letters from the field and his sketchbook, the only pictorial expression from the war period, were published by Paul Cassirer in Berlin in 1920 under the title Franz Marc, Letters, Notes and Aphorisms .

Contemporaries about Franz Marc

The Bull , 1911, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum , New York

In his contribution on the question of form , Kandinsky in the Almanac emphasized Marc's importance for abstract art based on the painting Der Stier shown there and emphasized the “strong abstract ringing of the physical form”, which does not demand the destruction of the representational, but rather “its individual ones Parts ”to an“ entire abstract main sound ”.

In 1916 Paul Klee wrote in his diary in memory of Franz Marc: “When I say who Franz Marc is, I also have to confess who I am, because a lot of what I take part in also belongs to him. He is more human, he loves warmer, more pronounced. He leans towards animals humanly. He elevates them to himself. "

The poet Else Lasker-Schüler published a necrology in the Berliner Tageblatt of March 9, 1916 , beginning with the lines: “The blue rider has fallen, a large biblical on which the fragrance of Eden hung. It cast a blue shadow over the landscape. He was the one who still heard the animals talk; and he transfigured their misunderstood souls ”. She published another obituary the following year: When the blue rider had fallen ... , a poem that owed its creation to the alleged loss of the picture Animal Fates , which was badly damaged in a fire in 1917. In 1919 her novel Der Malik, dedicated to Franz Marc, was published . An imperial story with pictures and drawings published by Paul Cassirer in Berlin.

In a letter to Marie-Anne von Goldschmidt-Rothschild in autumn 1916, after visiting the Munich Memorial Exhibition, Rainer Maria Rilke noted that "having finally seen an oeuvre again", "a life unity achieved and achieved in the work."

Public perception

First posthumous exhibitions

From September 14 to October 15, 1916, six months after Marc's death, the “Franz Marc Memorial Exhibition” was shown in the Munich New Secession - the exhibition building of the artist group created in 1913. This was followed in November by the memorial exhibition in Herwarth Walden's Sturm-Galerie in Berlin, which contained almost 200 works by the artist, including the fate of animals . During temporary storage, the painting was partially destroyed by fire in 1917 and restored by Paul Klee in 1919 . His works were exhibited at the 16th  Venice Biennale in 1928.

time of the nationalsocialism

The little blue horses , 1911
The Mandrill , 1913. Confiscated from the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 1937 , today the Pinakothek der Moderne , Munich

During the National Socialist era, there was a grace period for the art world until the end of the Olympic Games in summer 1936. On the 20th anniversary of Franz Marc's death, the Kestner Society in Hanover organized a commemorative exhibition from March 4 to April 14, 1936, in which 165 works by the artist were shown. They were part of Marc's first catalog raisonné, which the art historian Alois Schardt wrote together with his wife and Marc's widow, Maria Marc, and published in Berlin in 1936. It contains a total of 996 works. After Hanover, she could be seen from May 4th in the Nierendorf and von der Heyde galleries in Berlin. Alois Schardt's introductory lecture on the eve of the opening was forbidden by the Gestapo , Schardt arrested and his recently published book about Marc confiscated. The painting The Little Blue Horses from 1911 was on display in both memorial exhibitions and is now in the Stuttgart State Gallery . The picture belonged to the art collector and patron Alfred Hess , and the ownership structure , as with some of Marc's other pictures, has not yet been finally clarified.

In 1936/37, 130 works by Franz Marc were confiscated from German collections. A total of 650 works by various artists from 32 German museums were exhibited from July 19, 1937 at the same time as the Great German Art Exhibition in the newly opened Haus der Deutschen Kunst in the nearby gallery building at the Hofgarten in the exhibition "Degenerate Art" . Six paintings by Marc were shown. Even before the works were sold abroad, Hermann Göring selected 13 paintings for his collection, including Deer in the Forest and The Tower of the Blue Horses . Both pictures have been lost since 1945.

After the Second World War

After the Second World War , Franz Marc's painting began to become popular, and the animal pictures from 1911/12 were soon hanging as art copies in many apartments. Some of his works were shown at documenta 1 (1955), documenta II (1959) and documenta III in 1964 in Kassel . The significance of the artist as one of the pioneers of abstract art in his later works was not revealed until 1976 through the monograph by Klaus Lankheit and the 1980 memorial exhibition in the Lenbachhaus in Munich . A solo exhibition took place there from August to October 1963.

Red Bull , 1912, Pushkin Museum , Moscow. Example of work by Marc for the exhibition The painters of the “Blue Rider” and Japan in the Murnau Castle Museum

A retrospective of the painterly and graphic works of Franz Marc, the largest after the overall exhibition in 1916, opened on September 17, 2005 in the Lenbachhaus and the associated art building. By January 8, 2006, it achieved a record attendance of around 300,000 visitors.

The blue foals , 1913, Kunsthalle in Emden

The Blue Year - 100 Years of the Blue Rider , under this overall title, the Franz Marc Museum in Kochel offered collection presentations in 2011, including special exhibitions by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Paul Klee and, from September 18, 2011, Franz Marc and Joseph Beuys . In harmony with nature . The exhibition, which was subsequently shown from December 8, 2011 to February 12, 2012 in the Sinclair House of the Altana Cultural Foundation in Bad Homburg, made it clear that Joseph Beuys and Franz Marc are shaped by their closeness to nature in their thinking and work and their works reflect common starting points of a concept of nature rooted in the tradition of German Romanticism . Just as the horse or the deer become symbols of the spiritual with Marc, so with Beuys deer, swan, bee and hare are symbols of their own mythology, grown out of Christian, literary and scientific contexts and charged with social relevance.

Horses in Landscape , 1911, from the Schwabing art find

Also in the Blue Year , the Murnau Castle Museum first pointed out the influence of Japanese art on the Blue Rider's artists in the exhibition The Painters of the “Blue Rider” and Japan , which ran from July 21 to November 6, 2011 . Pieces from the painters' collections, including the Japanese art collection Franz Marc, as well as examples of works formed the spectrum of the exhibition, which made the connection to "classical Japonism ".

Under the painting The Blue Foals from 1913, a study of two cats was discovered in the summer of 2013, probably also painted by Marc in 1913. It was shown in the art gallery in Emden from October 3rd of that year.

On November 5, 2013, at a televised press conference on the spectacular Schwabing art find, a study on the Great Blue Horses from 1911 entitled Horses in Landscape , which was owned by the art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt , was shown. The former owner was the Moritzburg Art and Craft Museum in Halle (Saale) .


Horse and house with rainbow , postcard from Franz Marc to Paul Klee, 1913, Franz Marc Museum , Kochel

In 1949 Maria Marc asked the gallery owner Otto Stangl to manage her husband's artistic estate. After Maria Marc's death on January 25, 1955, Stangl became the “keeper of the Franz Marc estate”; in accordance with the widow's bequest, he donated a number of paintings to some important museums that she had determined.

The written estate of Franz Marc was acquired in 1973 by the German Art Archive in the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg from Galerie Stangl, Munich. The collection was completed by 200 documents as a gift from Stangl's heir in 2005.

The Franz Marc Museum, founded in 1986 and expanded in 2008, is located in Kochel am See . When the Franz Marc Museum was founded, the administrator Otto Stangl had the vision of expanding it later in order to make the continuation of the idea of ​​the “spiritual in art”, which was important to the Blue Rider, understandable through the abstraction of the post-war period. The Etta and Otto Stangl Foundation bequeathed many works to the museum, including paintings by his artist friends from the area around the Blue Rider. The various influences on Franz Marc's art as well as the suggestions that came from it are presented with examples of works in the Franz Marc Museum.

The collection of Japanese woodblock prints acquired by Franz Marc in Paris in 1903 is not completely preserved. In 2009, 21 ink drawings and woodcuts as well as 17 illustrated books were donated to the Murnau Castle Museum from his estate . Since 1908 Marc had his name or monogram cut into at least three Chinese and Japanese soapstones in the East Asian style in order to use them as a stamp on postcards and letters.

In the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg there are 26 of a total of 32 sketchbooks from the years 1903 to 1914. They were acquired from the estate in 1982 and exhibited in a special exhibition from May 23 to September 1 in 2019.


Postage stamp of the German Federal Post Office from 1992 with Marc's motif horse in the landscape
Postage stamp from Deutsche Post AG from 2012 with Marc's motif Blue Horse I.
Bust in the Munich Hall of Fame

Franz Marc received increased public attention especially in the last third of the 20th century.

Streets in several cities in Germany are named after Marc, for example in Fulda , Fürth , Hamburg , Landshut , Wolfsburg , Oldenburg , Puchheim , Vechta , Elmshorn , Heidelberg , Kochel am See , Cologne , Kösching , Leverkusen , Mühlheim , Saarbrücken , Schifferstadt , Schweinfurt , Sindelsdorf , Töging and Munich .

On October 13, 2000, an asteroid discovered in 1991 was named after him: (15282) Franzmarc .

The German Federal Post Office brought on 15 February 1974 within the framework of a double issue with the German Expressionism a stamp with the Red deer worth 30 Pfennig out, the second brand to 40 pence Alexej von Jawlensky's head in blue shows. As part of the series “ German Painting of the 20th Century ”, the Deutsche Bundespost issued a 60-pfennig special postage stamp on June 11, 1992 with the theme of a horse in the landscape . On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Blue Rider , Deutsche Post AG issued a special stamp worth 145 euro cents. The issue date was February 9, 2012, the design was made by the communication designer Nina Clausing from Wuppertal and is based on the work Blue Horse I from 1911 by Franz Marc.

Alf Lechner : Homage to Franz Marc , 1995, in front of the Franz Marc Museum

The Franz Marc Museum , opened in 1986, was dedicated to the artist. Three years later, in 1989, the former Markt Schwaben high school was renamed the Franz-Marc-Gymnasium in honor of the artist . His bust is placed in the Munich Hall of Fame .

The Free State of Bavaria celebrated two anniversaries in 2011, the 125th anniversary of the death of the “fairy tale king” Ludwig II and at the same time the 100th birthday of the Blue Rider . Many exhibitions in museums showed the works of the participating artists in special shows, for example the Murnau Castle Museum , the Franz Marc Museum, the Buchheim Museum in Bernried and the Penzberg City Museum . In 2014, on the 100th anniversary of the death of Franz Marc's artist friend August Macke , the Kunstmuseum Bonn opened the exhibition “August Macke and Franz Marc. An artist friendship ”. For the first time she presented around 200 works that relate exclusively to the friendship of the two artists and their art. From January to May 2015 it was shown in the Lenbachhaus in Munich. To mark the 100th anniversary of the artist's death on March 4, 2016, the Franz Marc Museum dedicated a trilogy of exhibitions to him under the collective title "Franz Marc - Between Utopia and Apocalypse", the third part of which ended in January 2017.

Franz Marc on the art market

In February 2008, the 1910 auction of Grazing Horses III at Sotheby’s in London reached a record price of 16.5 million euros. That was twice the estimated price. The bidder remained unknown.

In June 2009 one of Marc's last Impressionist paintings, Jumping Horses , also from 1910, fetched the equivalent of 4.4 million euros at an auction at Christie's in London. It remained just below the estimate.

Franz Marc's Three Horses from 1912, a small gouache on cardboard, also achieved four times its estimated price at Christie's in 2018. With a buyer's premium it reached 15.4 million pounds, just under 17.5 million euros.

Selected Works

Horse in the Landscape, Folkwang Museum , Essen, 1910
Squatting in the snow , 1911, Franz Marc Museum , Kochel
Two cats, blue and yellow , 1912, Kunstmuseum Basel , Basel
The Enchanted Mill , 1913, Art Institute of Chicago , Chicago
Small Composition II (House with Trees) , 1914, Sprengel Museum , Hanover
Vögel , 1914, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus , Munich


  • 1902: Moorhütten im Dachauer Moos , oil on canvas, 43.5 × 73.6 cm, Franz Marc Museum , Kochel
  • 1904: Indersdorf , oil on canvas, 40 × 31.5 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus , Munich
  • 1905: The Dead Sparrow , oil on panel, 13 × 16.5 cm, private collection
  • 1905: Small Horse Study II , oil on cardboard, 27 × 31 cm, Franz Marc Museum, Kochel
  • 1906: Two women on the mountain , sketch, oil on canvas, laid on cardboard, 15.5 × 24.7 cm, Franz Marc Museum, Kochel
  • 1906: Seated peasant woman with a chicken in her lap , colored chalk, Murnau Castle Museum
  • 1907: Elephant , chalk, 41.5 × 33.8 cm, Hamburger Kunsthalle , Hamburg
  • 1907: Woman in the Wind by the Sea , oil on cardboard, 26 × 16 cm, Franz Marc Museum, Kochel
  • 1908: Larch trees , oil on canvas, 100 × 71 cm, Museum Ludwig , Cologne
  • 1908: Jumping Dog , oil on canvas, 54.5 × 67.5 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. Munich
  • 1909: Small horse picture , oil on canvas, 16 × 25 cm, Franz Marc Museum, Kochel
  • 1909: Deer in the twilight , oil on canvas, 100 × 70 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
  • 1909/10: Cats on red cloth , oil on canvas, 50.5 × 60.5 cm, private collection
  • 1910: Horse in the Landscape , oil on canvas, 85 × 112 cm, Museum Folkwang , Essen
  • 1910: Nude with a cat , oil on canvas, 86.5 × 80 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
  • 1910: Grazing Horses I , oil on canvas, relined, 64 × 94 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
  • 1910: Rote Dehe I , oil on canvas, 87.6 × 88.3 cm, private collection
  • 1911: The Little Blue Horses , oil on canvas, 61 × 101 cm, Staatsgalerie , Stuttgart ,
  • 1911: The Bull , oil on canvas, 135 × 101 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum , New York
  • 1911: Blue Horse I , oil on canvas, 112.5 × 84.5 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
  • 1911: Dog lying in the snow , oil on canvas, 62.5 × 105 cm, Städelsches Kunstinstitut , Frankfurt am Main
  • 1911: The Big Blue Horses , oil on canvas, 181 × 105 cm, Walker Art Center , Minneapolis / Minnesota
  • 1911: Deer in the snow , oil on canvas, 84.7 × 84.5 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
  • 1911: Portrait of Henri Rousseau , reverse glass picture , 15.3 × 11.4 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
  • 1911: The Yellow Cow , oil on canvas, 140.5 × 189.2 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum , New York
  • 1911: Squatting in the snow , oil on canvas, 79.5 × 100 cm, Franz Marc Museum, Kochel
  • 1911: Fuchs , oil on canvas, 50 × 63.5 cm, Von der Heydt-Museum , Wuppertal
  • 1912: Small yellow horses , oil on canvas, 104 × 66 cm, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart
  • 1912: The Tiger , oil on canvas, 111 × 111 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
  • 1912: Two cats, blue and yellow , oil on canvas, 74 × 98 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel , Basel
  • 1912: In the rain , oil on canvas, 81.5 × 106 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
  • 1912: Rote Rehe II , oil on canvas, 70 × 100 cm, Pinakothek der Moderne , Munich
  • 1912: Pigs , oil on canvas, 83 × 58 cm, private collection
  • 1912: Sheep , oil on canvas, 76 × 49 cm, Saarland Museum , Saarbrücken
  • 1912: The little monkey , oil on canvas, 70.4 × 100 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
  • 1912: Deer in the monastery garden , oil on canvas, 75.7 × 101 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
  • 1912: In the rain , 1912. Oil on canvas 81 × 105.5 cm. Municipal gallery in the Lenbachhaus
  • 1912: The blue horse , oil on canvas, 58 × 73 cm, Modern Gallery , Saarbrücken
  • 1913: The Enchanted Mill , oil on canvas, 130.6 × 90.8 cm, Art Institute of Chicago , Chicago
  • 1913: Animal fates , oil on canvas, 195 × 263.5 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel
  • 1913: Foxes , oil on canvas, 87 × 65 cm, Museum Kunstpalast , Düsseldorf
  • 1913: The Mandrill , oil on canvas, 91 × 131 cm, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
  • 1913: Three cats , oil on canvas, 72 × 102 cm, North Rhine-Westphalia Art Collection , Düsseldorf
  • 1913: Picture with cattle , oil on canvas, 92 × 130.8 cm, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
  • 1913: Sleeping horse , watercolor and ink on paper, 46 × 40 cm
  • 1913: Deer in the Forest I , oil on canvas, 100.5 × 104 cm, Phillips Collection , Washington
  • 1913: The Tower of the Blue Horses , oil on canvas, 200 × 130 cm, missing since the end of the war in 1945, is considered Marc's most important work
  • 1913: The blue foals , oil on canvas, 55.7 × 38.5 cm, Kunsthalle in Emden , Emden
  • 1913: Kleine Komposition I , oil on canvas, 46.5 × 41.5 cm, private collection
  • 1913: Wild boars , oil on cardboard, 73.5 × 57.5 cm, Museum Ludwig , Cologne
  • 1914: Landscape with a house, dog and cattle , oil on canvas, private property
  • 1914: Cheerful forms , oil on canvas, destroyed in the war
  • 1914: Playing forms , oil on canvas, 56.5 × 170 cm, private collection
  • 1914: Fighting forms , oil on canvas, 131 × 91 cm, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
  • 1914: Broken Shapes , oil on canvas, 112 × 84.5 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • 1914: Small Composition II , oil on canvas, 59.5 × 46 cm, Sprengel Museum, Hanover
  • 1914: Small Composition III , oil on canvas, 46.5 × 58 cm, Osthaus Museum , Hagen
  • 1914: Small Composition IV , Franz Marc Museum, Kochel
  • 1914: Tyrol , oil on canvas, 135.7 × 144.5 cm, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
  • 1914: Deer im Walde II , oil on canvas, 110 × 100.5 cm, Staatliche Kunsthalle , Karlsruhe


The Panther , 1908, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus
  • 1908: The Panther , bronze, height 9.5 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
  • 1908: Horse , bronze, height 16.4 cm, partially cast from a double group, Franz Marc Foundation Collection
  • 1908/09: Two horses , bronze, height 16.2 cm, Moritzburg Foundation, Art Museum of the State of Saxony-Anhalt , Kracht Collection


Resting horses , woodcut, 1911/12, Albertina , Vienna
Sleeping Shepherdess , woodcut, 1912, British Museum , London
  • 1911/12: Resting horses , woodcut, 25.5 × 38.2 cm, Albertina , Vienna
  • 1912: Reconciliation , woodcut, published in: Der Sturm , 3rd year, number 125/126
  • 1912: Sleeping Shepherdess , woodcut, 19.7 × 24 cm, British Museum , London
  • 1913: Birth of the Horses , woodcut, 21.5 × 14.5 cm, Staatlich Graphische Sammlung, Munich
  • 1913: Birth of the Wolves , woodcut, 25.3 × 18.5 cm, Moritzburg Foundation Art Museum of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, Kracht Collection
  • 1914: Creation Story I (The Baboon) , woodcut, 24 × 20 cm, Moritzburg Foundation Art Museum of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, Kracht Collection
  • 1914: Creation Story II , color woodcut, 23.7 × 20 cm, Moritzburg Foundation Art Museum of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, Kracht Collection

Literature (selection)

Writings and catalog raisonnés

Complete directories

The blue Rider

  • Klaus Lankheit : Der Blaue Reiter, edited by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. Documentary new edition. Munich / Zurich 1984.
  • Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc: The Blue Rider. Documentary new edition . Piper, Munich 2004, ISBN 978-3-492-24121-2 .

Correspondence, writings and documents

  • Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy: Between the Lines - Documents on Franz Marc . Hatje, Ostfildern, 2005, ISBN 3-7757-1595-9 .
  • Klaus Lankheit (Ed.): Franz Marc. Fonts . DuMont, Cologne 1978, ISBN 3-7701-1088-9 .
  • Klaus Lankheit (Ed.) Wassily Kandinsky. Franz Marc. Correspondence. With letters from and to Gabriele Münter and Maria Marc . Piper, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-492-02847-0 .
  • Else Lasker-Schüler, Franz Marc: My dear, wonderful blue rider. Private correspondence . Edited by Ulrike Marquardt. Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf 1998, ISBN 3-538-06820-8 .
  • Wolfgang Macke (Ed.): August Macke. Franz Marc. Correspondence , DuMont Schauberg, Cologne 1964
  • Franz Marc: Letters from the field . First published in 1920. Piper, Munich 2000, ISBN 978-3-492-10233-9 .
    • Franz Marc: Letters from the field . 1914-1916. With an introduction by Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy. Allitera, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-86906-621-9 .
  • Franz Marc: the sketchbook from the field - the graphic work. Edited on the occasion of the exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bern, April 8 to May 15, 1967. Kunstmuseum Bern 1967
  • Günter Meißner (ed.): Franz Marc, letters, writings and records. Leipzig and Weimar 1980
  • Peter-Klaus Schuster: Franz Marc, Else Lasker student, The Blue Rider presents to Your Highness his Blue Horse, cards and letters. Munich 1987
  • Bernd Fäthke: Marianne Werefkin - “the blue rider” . In: Marianne Werefkin, From the Blue Rider to the Great Bear , exhibition catalog, Städtische Galerie Bietigheim-Bissingen 2014, ISBN 978-3-927877-82-5 (on p. 24 there is a previously unknown passage from Maria Marc; on pages 55 ff. there is a previously unknown exchange of letters between Marc and Werefkin.)
  • Maria Marc / Brigitte Roßbeck (eds.): Sometimes my heart threatens to burst. My life with Franz Marc. Siedler Verlag, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-8275-0035-9

Catalog raisonnés

  • Alois Schardt : Franz Marc . Rembrandt-Verlag, Berlin 1936, pp. 161–175 catalog raisonné
  • Annegret Hoberg , Isabelle Jansen: Franz Marc. Catalog raisonné, vol. I, paintings . Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-51142-2 .
  • Annegret Hoberg, Isabelle Jansen: Franz Marc. Catalog raisonné, vol. II, watercolors, gouaches, drawings, postcards, reverse glass painting, applied arts, plastic . Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 978-3-406-51140-0 .
  • Annegret Hoberg, Isabelle Jansen: Franz Marc catalog raisonné, vol. III, sketchbooks and prints . Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-51141-7 .
  • Magdalena M. Moeller : Franz Marc. Drawings and watercolors . 2nd edition Hatje, Stuttgart 1989, ISBN 3-7757-0278-4 .

Secondary literature

  • Rudolf Probst (Ed.): Franz Marc . Municipal gallery in the Lenbachhaus Munich. Exhibition catalog, Munich 1963
  • Klaus Lankheit: Franz Marc. His life and his art. DuMont, Cologne 1976, ISBN 3-7701-0295-9 .
  • Klaus Lankheit: Guide through the Franz Marc Museum, Kochel am See. Munich 1987
  • Klaus Lankheit: Franz Marc in the judgment of his time . Piper, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-492-10986-1 .
  • Claus Pese: Franz Marc. Life and work. Belser, Stuttgart / Zurich 1989, ISBN 3-7630-1968-5 .
  • Magdalena M. Moeller : Franz Marc: drawings and watercolors , exhibition catalog 1989/90: Brücke-Museum Berlin; Museum Folkwang Essen; Kunsthalle Tübingen. Hatje, Stuttgart 1989, ISBN 3-7757-0278-4 .
  • Annegret Hoberg : Maria Marc. Life and Work 1876–1955 , Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich 1995
  • Sigrid Countess von Strachwitz: Franz Marc and Friedrich Nietzsche. On the reception of Nietzsche in the fine arts , dissertation, Bonn 1997
  • Kirsten Jüngling and Brigitte Roßbeck : Franz and Maria Marc. The biography of the artist couple . Artemis and Winkler, Düsseldorf / Zurich 2000, ISBN 3-538-07110-1 and List-Taschenbuch, 1st edition, Berlin 2004, 4th edition, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-548-60429-9 .
  • Annegret Hoberg: Franz and Maria Marc. Prestel, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-7913-3184-1 .
  • Isgard Kracht: Franz Marc - "degenerate", but German: Art reports under the swastika II. Ed. By Walter Vitt., Steinmeier, Nördlingen 2005, ISBN 3-936363-32-3 .
  • Annegret Hoberg, Helmut Friedel (eds.): Franz Marc. The retrospective. Prestel, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-7913-3497-2 .
  • Norbert Göttler : The Blue Rider . Rowohlt, Reinbek 2008, ISBN 978-3-499-50607-9 .
  • Hajo Düchting : The Blue Rider . Taschen, Cologne 2009, ISBN 978-3-8228-5577-5 .
  • Susanna Partsch : Marc . 9th edition, Taschen Verlag, Cologne 2009, ISBN 3-8228-5585-5 .
  • Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (Eds.): Franz Marc. Paul Klee. Dialogue in pictures . Nimbus. Art and books, Wädenswil 2010, ISBN 978-3-907142-50-9 .
  • Volker Rattemeyer (ed.): The spiritual in art. From the Blue Rider to Abstract Expressionism . Museum Wiesbaden , Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-89258-088-1 .
  • Brigitte Salmen (ed.): The painters of the "Blauer Reiter" and Japan: "... these tender, spirited fantasies ...". Murnau Castle Museum 2011, ISBN 978-3-932276-39-2 .
  • Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Andrea Firmenich (eds.): Franz Marc and Joseph Beuys. In harmony with nature . Schirmer / Mosel, Franz Marc Museum, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-8296-0557-1 .
  • Structures of nature. Franz Marc and Per Kirkeby . Exhibition catalog Franz Marc Museum, Kochel am See 2013
  • Helmut Friedel and Annegret Hoberg: The Blue Rider in the Lenbachhaus Munich . Prestel, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-7913-5311-1 .
  • Birgit Poppe: Franz Marc: love, passion and artistic avant-garde . Parthas, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-86964-100-3 .
  • Brigitte Roßbeck : Franz Marc. The dreams and the life. Biography. Siedler, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-88680-982-0 .
  • Annegret Hoberg: August Macke, Franz Marc - the war, their fates, their women . Wienand, Cologne 2015, ISBN 978-3-86832-255-2 .
  • Wilfried F. Schoeller : Franz Marc. A biography. Carl Hanser, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-446-25069-7 .
  • Christoph Wagner : "Franz Marc and the music", in: Franz Marc and the Blue Rider (exhibition cat. Franz Marc Museum Kochel am See), ed. by Franz Marc Foundation Kochel am See, Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich / Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-422-06244-0 , pp. 67–92. Available online
  • Andreas Beyer : What connected Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky with Aby Warburg. In Ulf Küster (ed.): Kandinsky Marc & Der Blaue Reiter. Exhibition catalog Fondation Beyeler, Riehen / Basel 2016, Hatje Cantz, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-7757-4168-2 , pp. 18–23.
  • Brigitte Roßbeck, Christine Hübner: “What an abundant, fruitful time ...” Franz and Maria Marc in Sindelsdorf. 1909-1914 . Published by the Sindelsdorf community, Sindelsdorf 2017
  • Ulf Küster (eds.): Kandinsky, Marc & Der Blaue Reiter , Fondation Beyeler, Riehen / Basel, Hatje Cantz, Berlin 2016. ISBN 978-3-7757-4168-2 .


  • Memories of Franz and Maria Marc. Documentary, directed by Steffen Wimmers, length 82 minutes, blackdog film production, Wachtberg 2017, ISBN 978-3-00-055226-7 .
  • Departure into the modern age! Franz Marc's Blue Horse I. Documentary, Germany, 2014, 5 min., Script and director: Thomas Kempe, production: Bayerischer Rundfunk , series: discovering art, first broadcast: March 21, 2014 at BR, summary ( memento from March 16, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) and online video ( Memento from March 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) from BR.
  • Franz Marc: Works and Writings . CD-ROM, Directmedia Publishing, Berlin 2007, ISBN 3-89853-555-X .
  • Franz Marc. Draft to a new world. Documentary, Germany, 2005, 32 min., Written and directed by Werner Raeune, production: ZDF , 3sat , first broadcast October 2, 2005, summary by 3sat.
  • The landscape of the "Blue Rider" - Franz Marc in Kochel. Documentary film, Germany, 1987, 43:30 min., Script and direction: Dieter Wieland , production: Bayerischer Rundfunk , series: Topography, summary by ARD .
  • Franz Marc. The last ride of the Blue Rider. Documentary with game scenes, Germany, 2015, 52:03 min., Script and director: Hedwig Schmutte, production: Tag / Traum, ZDF , arte , first broadcast: March 6, 2016 on Arte, synopsis by ARD .
  • 1989: History of an Image: The Tower of the Blue Horses, Franz Marc, 1913 , documentary film ( DEFA )

Web links

Commons : Franz Marc  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Franz Marc  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey: Chronology of a friendship . In: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (Eds.): Franz Marc. Paul Klee. Dialogue in pictures . Wädenswil 2010, p. 198 f.
  2. Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 7 f.
  3. ^ Franz Marc: Letter to August Caselmann , August 2, 1898 ,, accessed on July 25, 2011.
  4. a b Diether Rudloff : Franz Marc. The longing for indivisible being . In: Diether Rudloff: Unfinished Creation. Artist in the twentieth century . Urachhaus, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 3-87838-368-1 , p. 51.
  5. ^ Matriculation book of the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich: Franz Marc, 1901. Retrieved on July 21, 2019 .
  6. a b Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey, in: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (eds.), P. 201.
  7. Susanna Partsch: Marc , Taschen, Köln 2005, p. 8.
  8. a b c Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey, in: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (eds.), P. 202.
  9. Myung-Seon Oh: The Blue Rider and Japonism , dissertation at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich 2006, p. 29.
  10. ^ Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 92.
  11. Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey, in: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (eds.), P. 203.
  12. ^ Brigitte Salmen: Maria Marc. Life and life's work . In: Brigitte Salmen (Ed.): Maria Marc in the circle of the “Blue Rider” , Murnau Castle Museum, Murnau 2004, p. 8
  13. Brigitte Roßbeck: Franz Marc: The dreams and life - biography . Siedler Verlag, 2015, ISBN 978-3-641-15861-3 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  14. Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey, in: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (Eds.), Pp. 203 f.
  15. § 1312 BGB
  16. Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey, in: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (eds.), P. 204.
  17. ^ Bassenge auction catalog for the auction on April 14-17 , 2010, picture example .
  18. Paradise: The ideal world as a vision ,, accessed on February 19, 2015
  19. Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 21 f.
  20. a b Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey, in: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (eds.), P. 206.
  21. Franz Marc ,, accessed March 7, 2015.
  22. Maria Marc writes: “After consulting my parents in Berlin, we went to London (in June 1911) to get married there. But unfortunately we did not succeed either ”. From: Maria Marc: autobiographical sketch , undated manuscript, German Art Archive / National Museum Nuremberg, estate of Franz Marc. Published in: Brigitte Roßbeck: Franz Marc. The dreams and the life. Siedler, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-8868-0982-0 , pp. 171–173
  23. a b c d Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey, in: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (eds.), P. 208.
  24. Helmut Friedel and Annegret Hoberg: The Blue Rider in the Lenbachhaus Munich . Prestel, Munich 2013, p. 49
  25. Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey, in: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (eds.), P. 205.
  26. a b c Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey, in: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (eds.), P. 207.
  27. ^ Meißner: Franz Marc, Letters, Writings and Records . 1980, p. 39.
  28. ^ Annegret Hoberg: A new mission in art - Murnau, Munich and the Blue Rider . In: Volker Rattemeyer (ed.): The spiritual in art. From the Blue Rider to Abstract Expressionism . Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden 2010, p. 33 f.
  29. ^ Macke: August Macke / Franz Marc, correspondence . 1964, p. 45.
  30. This was already considered by Kandinsky in a letter dated June 19, 1911 with the plan of the publication of an almanac and subsequent exhibition and agreed with Marc. Compare with this in Hajo Düchting: Der Blaue Reiter , p. 16.
  31. Photos of the exhibition ,, accessed on March 14, 2011.
  32. Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 54 f.
  33. Norbert Göttler: Der Blaue Reiter , p. 90.
  34. a b Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey, in: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (eds.), P. 209.
  35. ^ Susanna Partsch: Marc , pp. 63, 67
  36. Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 67.
  37. Compare the corresponding illustrations and comments in: Franz Marc - Else Lasker-Schüler, The blue rider presents your highness his blue horse, cards and letters . Edited and commented by Peter-Klaus Schuster. Prestel, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-7913-0825-4 .
  38. Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 95.
  39. ^ Wassily Kandinsky / Franz Marc: Correspondence . Edited by Klaus Lankheit, Munich 1983, p. 225
  40. Susanna Partsch: Marc , pp. 72–76.
  41. ^ Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 82.
  42. Susanna Partsch: Marc , pp. 81–86.
  43. In contrast to earlier biographers, Annegret Hoberg takes the following opinion: “Both Macke and Marc did not volunteer for military service - even if this rumor is persisted to this day - but both were called up on August 1, 1914 immediately after the outbreak of war. “In: Annegret Hoberg: August Macke, Franz Marc - the war, their fates, their women. Wienand, Cologne 2015, p. 6.
  44. Wilfried F. Schoeller argues similarly in an interview about his new biography. In: Julia Voss : He radicalized himself in the name of purity ,, March 5, 2016, accessed on March 7, 2016
  45. Susanna Partsch: Marc , pp. 88–90.
  46. Lieutenant of the Landwehr of the field artillery, replacement field artillery regiment, light ammunition column I; List of losses from the KB War Ministry, No. 257 of March 30, 1916, p. 11819.
  47. ^ Brigitte Roßbeck: Franz Marc. The dreams and the life . Siedler, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-641-15861-3 , p. 272 ff .
  48. ^ Franz Marc: Military career ,
  49. ^ Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 91.
  50. ^ Herwarth Walden : Franz Marc . In: The storm . No. 23/24 , 1916, pp. 1 ( ANNO - AustriaN Newspapers Online [accessed November 6, 2019]).
  51. Catalog of Works I ,, accessed on September 5, 2019.
  52. ^ Stefan Koldehoff: Das Blau der Kunst ,, April 22, 2009, accessed on January 21, 2011.
  53. ^ Jansen Hoberg: Franz Marc. Catalog raisonné . Volume II: watercolors, gouaches, drawings, postcards, reverse glass painting, applied arts, plastic . 2004, p. 24 ff.
  54. ^ Jansen Hoberg: Franz Marc. Catalog raisonné . Volume I: Paintings . 2004, p. 50 ff.
  55. Susanna Partsch: Marc , Taschen, Köln 2005, p. 8.
  56. Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey, in: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (eds.), P. 215.
  57. ^ Franz Marc's Stella Peregrina: A Collection of Illustrated Poems ,, accessed March 30, 2018
  58. Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 10 f.
  59. a b Meißner: Franz Marc, letters, writings and records . 1980, p. 34.
  60. Beate Ofczarek, Stefan Frey, in: Michael Baumgartner, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Katja Schneider (Eds.), Pp. 205 f.
  61. Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 19.
  62. Katja Förster: In search of a perfect being. Franz Marc's development from a romantic to a metaphysical interpretation . Dissertation at the University of Karlsruhe 2000, p. 77 f.
  63. The term 'animalization of art' comes from Franz Marc: “I see no happier means of 'animalization of art' than the animal image.” See also in Klaus Lankheit: Franz Marc. Writings , Cologne 1978, therein: About the animal in art , p. 98.
  64. ^ A b Annegret Hoberg: A new mission in art - Murnau, Munich and the Blue Rider . In: Volker Rattemeyer (ed.): The spiritual in art. From the Blue Rider to Abstract Expressionism . Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden 2010, p. 33.
  65. Johannes Jansen: Your blissful blue horses. Franz marc and the animalization of art . In: Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Andrea Firmenich (eds.): Franz Marc and Joseph Beuys. In harmony with nature . Schirmer / Mosel, Franz Marc Museum, Munich 2011, p. 146.
  66. Lying dog in the snow in: Mahogany magazine, accessed on June 20, 2013.
  67. ^ Meißner: Franz Marc, Letters, Writings and Records . 1980, p. 50.
  68. ^ Letter from Marc to Macke of December 12, 1910 ,, quoted from: Franz Marc, August Macke: Briefwechsel . DuMont, Cologne 1964., pp. 27–30, accessed on March 23, 2011.
  69. ^ Hajo Düchting: Der Blaue Reiter , p. 46.
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  71. ^ Hajo Düchting: Der Blaue Reiter , p. 62.
  72. ^ Hajo Düchting: Der Blaue Reiter , p. 22.
  73. ^ Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 81.
  74. Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 76.
  75. ^ Susanna Partsch: Marc , pp. 83, 86.
  76. ^ Letters from the field , p. 65. In: Susanna Partsch: Marc , p. 49.
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  78. Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg ,, pages 73 to 78, accessed on May 9, 2011.
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  81. ^ Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc: Der Blaue Reiter , Piper, Munich 2004, pp. 243–249. The “List of Illustrations” in the new documentary edition (p. 350 f.) Corrected to a total of 144 image reproductions.
  82. Franz Marc: The "Wild" Germany In: The Blue Rider. Edited by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. New documentary edition by Klaus Lankheit. Munich, Zurich 1948, pp. 28–32.
  83. Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc: Der Blaue Reiter , Piper, Munich 2004, pp. 33–37, 337. The editor, Klaus Lankheit, points out that the fairy tale illustration Reinhald the child prodigy could not come from Grimm's fairy tales, but probably from one another almanac.
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  91. Quoted from: Rainer Maria Rilke and the visual arts of his time . Edited by Gisela Götte and J-Anne Birnie Danzker. Prestel, Munich and New York 1996, ISBN 3-7913-1750-4 , p. 89.
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  93. Alois J. Schardt, Franz Marc, Berlin 1936, pp. 161–175
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  119. Three Horses ,, July 23, 2018, accessed on May 6, 2020
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on September 10, 2011 in this version .