This wonderful painting circa 1911 is of Franz Marc's own Siberian Shepherd dog, known as Russi. The original painting was an oil on canvas and shows his dog in the January snow near the village where he lived.
Marc had commented that although he thought the snowy landscape was beautiful, he found the snow "too pure white and blue". Despite the challenge, Marc created this wonderful composition featuring just the primary colours of yellow, blue and their combination colour of green to depict the dog in this snowy environment.
The composition shows the dog lying in the snow surrounded by trees in simplified, abstract form. The curves of the dog are almost integrated with the landscape. This seems to emphasize the harmony of the dog with nature, a feature that Marc wished to portray in his paintings. The resulting composition is one of beauty, tranquility and an almost spiritual feeling.
Marc loved painting animals as he felt they were pure and closer to God. He described man as "ugly". This particular picture is personal and intimate, with Russi placed in the center of the image and at eye level.
There are elements of Cubist influences apparent in this painting, with some angular aspects and two dimensional planes.
Overall this is a beautiful composition and one of Marc's most popular paintings. Its simplicity of colour and form gives the viewer a feeling of innocence, harmony and peace.