Deer in the Forest II Franz Marc Buy Art Prints Now
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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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Deer in a Forest II was painted by the German artist Franz Marc in 1914. Again focussed upon Marc’s most favoured subjects, animals, the painting is almost in the Cubist style. Others of Marc’s works are very much of the Impressionist school.

Several trips to Paris in the early exploration of his art made Marc a firm admirer of the bold new Impressionist painters at large there.

An admirer of such artists as Kandinsky, Gauguin and Van Gogh, Marc made animals in their natural environment a focus of his work. For Marc, animals were representative of the higher form of spirituality he himself sought and their freedom from the trappings of the material world inspired him.

December 1908 Marc wrote to Reinhart Piper that he was striving to heighten his feelings for what he described as ‘the organic rhythm of all things’ and to empathise with ‘the throbbing and flowing of nature’s bloodstream in trees, in animals, in the air.’

Deer in a Forest II uses a bright palette that could be compared with those of Gauguin and Van Gogh. There is the characteristic use of blue, popular with Marc and his contemporary Wassily Kandinsky (with whom, amongst others, he formed Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider)) group).

Blue was seen by them as being of great significance, and the bold reds, greens and yellows suggest animals at one with their natural surroundings, bathed in the strong yellow light that penetrates their world. Despite their strength the colours compliment each other and recall nature.

Marc’s standing as an artist of recognised distinction was achieved during his lifetime. Whilst he served in the Army his name was added to those who were marked for withdrawal from service in recognition of their talents.

It is a tragedy that in Marc’s case he was struck down by a fatal shrapnel injury before his withdrawal could be completed and he died in 1916.