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This beautiful image of a group of three little yellow horses was painted by Marc as an oil on canvas in 1912. Although animals, and in particular horses, were a common theme in Marc's work each image has a different feeling or emotion.
Marc was a master of animal anatomy, he even taught lessons to other artists. To play with the horses' form to create such simplicity, requires significant artistic skill.
In this image Marc has simplified and geometricized the outlines of the horses. Along with the cosmic landscape, he creates a circular theme to the world and the horses within this particular painting.
It is well known that Marc used colour in a symbolic way. Yellow would symbolize feminine cheerfulness whilst blue symbolized masculinity. These two colours in this image are overcoming the red which represented violence or brutality.
The image itself has an almost religious feel. It has been suggested that the yellow used for the horses was influenced by Marc's knowledge of its use in religious works.
Marc was introduced to Byzantine icons by his brother so would be aware of this. Like the gold leaf in religious paintings, the yellow of the horses appears warm and almost shining.
Marc said he wanted to put himself into the soul of the animals and that he painted "to see what they see". He felt that horses in particular, were free, pure and spiritual animals. Marc himself was described as sensitive.
Sadly his career was cut short, he became a casualty of World War I. However, his iconic and distinctive paintings live on and continue to influence many artists today.
Little Yellow Horses is a wonderful piece that will enchant the viewer for years to come.