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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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The lamb painting is just one of the many creative works left behind by Franz Marc

Born in Munich and to an artsy family, Franz’s first interaction with art was through his father, a budding landscape painter. It wasn’t long before Marc took to the brush as well and what ensued was a series of iconic time-defying Expressionists paintings.

In his youthful days, Franz Marc spent his time around fellow creatives. When in Paris, he studied the captivating works of artists like Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Picasso and Henri Matisse via an exhibition in Munich.

All the while his creativity was brewing inside and it wasn’t until he joined the Expressionists that his prowess started to be noticed.

Franz Marc’s painting of ‘The Lamb’ no doubts reeks of the cubism, a style learnt from the Expressionist movement. The cubists abandoned the single viewpoint perspective most artists used and buried their subjects within geometric shapes, colour collage, interlocking planes and so on.

The painting itself shows the lamb facing to the left with the head precisely on the one third part of the converse. Franz was known to use colour to depict different emotions in all his works.

The lamb painting throws some blue hints in several places which Franz’s fans new represented masculinity or spirituality. There are bright yellow accents within the artwork as well, which could mean joy or femininity. The red undertones to the far right, behind the lamb of the canvas signified violence or conflict.

Any one viewing this magnificent piece by Franz could use the colour as a guide to interpreting the canvas. Perhaps the lamb represents love shared between man and woman but is often ridden with conflict.

No matter how one interprets the piece, the Lamb painting remains to be one of the iconic works of Franz that brought out emotion in the viewer.

Franz Marc’s paintings often borrowed from his surrounding and were inspired by the creativity gathered from the artists he rubbed shoulders with. He loved painting animals as seen in his other paints; White Bull, Yellow Cow, Wild Boars in the Water, Tiger in the Jungle to mention a few.