It was painted in 1911, in a period in which Marc found new inspiration. As such Deer In The Snow can be appreciated for demonstrating the maturity and development of its creator.
In 1907 Marc travelled to Paris to study his art. This was an important time for Marc’s development as an artist, in which he found he identified with the mood of Vincent Van Gogh. Similarities can be identified in the shape, texture and colours between Starry Night and Deer In The Snow.
In 1911 Franz Marc became preoccupied with painting animal subjects. He saw them as more pure and spiritual than humans. A key tenet of expressionism is that a painting should emphasise the inner feeling of the artist, as opposed to the aesthetic quality of the painting. As such, ‘Deer In The Snow’ is an archetypal demonstration of expressionist artwork.
As in the style of the symbolists, Franz Marc was not frivolous in his use of colour, each having significance. In the case of ‘Deer In The Snow’ yellow and red tones of the deer have been used to show femininity, sensuality and terrestrial materiality.
The blue of the background and the snow represent spirituality and maleness. These come together to show male and female deer in their natural habitat.
Although ‘Deer In The Snow’ is one of Franz Marc’s lesser-known pieces, it is significant in it’s style. The colours and shapes used are iconic aspects of the expressionist movement of which Marc was an essential player.