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Picture With Cattle in an oil on canvas painted by Franz Marc in 1913. It is an example of Marc’s work on Cubism and generally reflects Marc’s later artistic style that employed abstract shapes and bold primary colours to interpret his chosen subject.
By this point in his career, Marc focussed entirely on animals in his work.
Cubism emerged as an art form around 1907 where the movement was led by the artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The artists sought to capture different viewpoints of the subject matter on one canvas that resulted in the abstract and fragmented appearance of Cubist pieces.
Marc was exposed to the work of Picasso when he travelled to Paris in 1907 and the style of his pieces noticeably began to change. His confidence with bright colours developed as he worked with the German Expressionists in 1911 after founding the Blue Rider Journal.
A further important event that encouraged his approach to colour was his meeting with Robert Delaunay in 1912. Delaunay used shapes and colours in a futuristic way, resulting in sharp angles and abstract interpretations of the shape of objects.
Marc became interested in Delaunay’s futurist style as well as Cubism. This event most likely had an influence on Marc’s production of Picture With Cattle.
Marc was interested not only in the Cubism movement but giving meaning to the colours he used in his pieces. He associated blue with the spiritual and red was often used to represent violence or the non-spiritual.
His use of yellow tones were used to depict the concepts of happiness and femininity. This applied meaning to colours may be used to interpret what message he seeks to present in pieces like Picture With Cattle.
The painting is one of many Cubist paintings completed by Marc. This particular work is held today at the Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst in Munich, Germany.