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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Bright, expressionist art was brought to the fore in the 20th century by famous artists like Franz Marc

This artist's signature style were exciting, inspiring frenzys of colour which beared similarlity to other expressionist painters such as Wassily Kandinsky.

His frequent use of animals set him aside from most others who would typically choose quite different subject matter.

The painter normally incorporated impressively bright colour combinations onto canvas, normally portraying a selection of common animals such as dogs, tigers and horses.

It was always likely the a young Franz would become a painter as his father had been a respected German landscape painter.

Franz chose to travel across to France in order to take in new influences early on in his career as he sought to avoid having a style which was to mainstream or predictable.

Franz Marc is known to have followed the work of Vincent van Gogh which is surprising considering how the Dutchman was not generally respected during his own lifetime and shortly afterwards. Franz Marc shows an inciteful and independent mind in following Van Gogh who was later to become so much loved across the world.

Franz Marc was a highly skilled German expressionist artist who was a significant part of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), which helped bring about developments in contemporary art and included Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, whose style was somewhat similar to Franz Marc.

Franz Marc paintings are covered in full within this website, which also includes lots of information on the life and career of artist Franz Marc as well.

Franz Marc was part of the expressionist art movement which encouraged a contemporary way of thinking within painting and allowed the emotions of the artist to be displayed in their work.

Other famous expressionists included Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.

The artist sadly had a career shortened by illness but even in this time he managed to create a huge number of paintings that followed a similar style which is instantly recognisable as distinctly Franz Marc.

Many in the modern era have found his use of animals to be very charming and the bold colour choices are also highly contemporary.

France offered him new ideas and techniques and he spent several years here at the start of 20th century.

This website looks into the career and life of this creative German painter and displays a gallery of his most famous paintings. There are also links besides the images of his work which takes you through to the Franz Marc prints gallery where you can buy your own copy of his original paintings to add to your home or office wall.

Germany has a long reputation for producing impressive artists who left a clear influence on the direction of European art and Franz Marc is certainly another who left an important legacy behind.

His career was at the very start of the 20th century and despite only lasting for under 20 years he was still able to deliver a significant number of high quality paintings that remain much loved today and for this reason his career remains well known.

There is certainly some influence on Franz Marc as a result of this appreciation for Vincent when you consider the brightness of colour that both used within their work as well as the highly expressive style that each incorporated into their paintings.

In recent years there have been some high prices attributed to sales of Franz Marc original paintings, though rarely do any now come up for auction due to the great popularity of the painter which means most will hold onto their prized assets.

Up to now the highest price for a Franz Marc painting is around $5m but that was around the late 1990s, so any new sales would likely be far higher, particularly when considering other recent sales for related artists.

Yellow Cow is a beautiful painting from Franz Marc which you can see above. It is just one of countless examples which exist from the artist's career of where he would depict animals within his bright expressionist style. As well as cows, he would also cover tigers and horses, amongst others, and each offered him different challenges when attempting to depict them accurately whilst adding his own touches at the same time.

Fighting Forms ranks as one of the most reproduced of all paintings from Franz Marc's career and is perhaps one of the more abstract of all, whilst relying on his impressive use of colour to complete a highly contemporary finish. Fighting Forms leaves question marks for the viewer over what exactly is being depicted where as other paintings like Yellow Cow are far more immediately obvious.

Large Red Horses is a charming work which offers a natural scenic look with three horses in separate poses and the greater number of animals in this piece allows the artist to experiment with different poses grouped together. Franz Marc, as a truly expressive artist, was never going to concentrate too much on precise reproduction of any animal's anatomy and rather just approach a painting with a desire to expressive himself with colour.

Tiger is another fine work from Franz Marc and combines bold colours beautifully, with yellows, greens and more giving a bright but balanced look, within his fractured style which was carried across most of the paintings in the latter part of his career. Tiger is one of few paintings in which this animal was used, but others such as horses, cows and the likes were reproduced time and time again as the artist look to re-use and repurpose his prefered animals.

Franz Marc reproductions are hugely popular at the moment with art fans across the world thanks to his respected work and the ease at which artists can now have their work published right across the world through modern media.

The most frequent reproductions are Franz Marc prints, posters and stretched canvases with several works being chosen most of the time such as Blue Horse, Large Red Horses, Sheep, Yellow Cow and Fighting Forms.

Franz Marc was classified as an expressionist which refers to the contemporary style in which he would depict objects, adding his own emotion and flourishes which ensured each object would be his personal representation rather than what you would see from realism artists, for example.

Van Gogh was another expressionist and he would create bold skies with unrealistic movement which accentuated the characteristics. Such style drew initial distain from academics but went on to be accepted and much loved by the art public whose interests were less stubborn.

Franz Marc is yet another famous artist whose private life was littered with controversy and instability, having married twice in his twenties and carried out an extended affair with a married woman who also was an artist herself which made their strong connection likely.

There are too many painters to mention who also struggled for comfort in their private lives, but good examples include Van Gogh, Modigliani and Jackson Pollock.

Yellow Cow is probably the most popular painting to have come from the career of Franz Marc, and you can see it above in all it's glory.

Franz made use of several prefered animals such as these cows in a series of paintings that have become what he is best remembered for. Yellow Cow is sometimes instead refered to as Golden Cow or Gelbe Kuh, to give it it's correct original German title.

Besides his own paintings, Franz Marc was also a fundamental influence within the Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) which was a collection of several key contemporary artists based in and around Northern Europe.

It predominantly taught the importance of exploring new ideas within art and also included Wassily Kandinsky who himself remains one of the best known abstract artist too.

Fighting Forms above is another classic example of Franz Marc's devotion to colour and how he would concentrate on bright key colours to lift each of his works to impressive levels.

The great bands of colour seen in paintings such as Fighting Forms almost give the impression of a rainbow being spread right across the details of each animal, and this is perhaps the reason that so many appreciate this German artist's style.

Franz Marc's original paintings have become exceptionally popular right across Europe and North America in recent years thanks to the exposure which they have received through major exhibitions that have promoted his career and it's achievements to the full.

This popularity is reflected in the large nubers of reproductions which are bought every years of his original paintings, normally as framed art prints, posters and stretched canvases.

Large Red Horses is another striking work by the artist who liked to capture animals in relatively natural scenarios such as grazing in local forests to where he lived at the time.

Horses featured consistently throughout his career and it is believed that he particularly liked their shape and also their gracefulness which suited his own painting style.

The best Horse paintings from Franz Marc are all included within this website plus his other interesting choices such as tigers, cows, bulls, cats and eagles just to name the most frequent.

Humans were depicted on occasion in his same style, but these were much rarer, as were entries into other art movements which he only did very occasionally and more so at the start of his career when he was trying out as many influences and ideas as possible.