Franz Marc was born in 1880. Playing Dogs was painted when he was 32 years of age in 1912. He was one of the key figures in German expressionism. He died at an early age of 36 in 1916, but contributed greatly to the art world with his style of expressionism and abstract paintings during his life.
Before his death, Franz Marc created approximately 60 paintings, most of which depicted animals. He took inspiration from artists such as Van Gogh and Gauguin during a trip to Paris in 1907.
He claimed that Van Gogh was one of the most poignant and authentic artists he had met. He was inspired by Van Gogh's paintings, of ordinary items of nature, that exhibited all of his longings and faith into it. He wanted his work to portray the mystery of nature to be found.
A meeting with the artist Robert Delaunay in 1912 inspired his use of colour, after he developed a fascination with futurism and cubism. Playing Dogs is a prime example of Franz Marcs use of colour and move towards cubism.
Bold colours such as blue, green, red and yellow, with the Playing Dogs coloured in contrast to accentuate them.
Franz Marc penned an essay entitled 'Spiritual Treasures' in 1912.
In it, he discussed his 'inner mystical construction'. He was referring to the unique being that is characterised using a 'sense of spirit'. He believed this gave his paintings a sense of intrigue and mystery. At the forefront of his paintings, was his sense of spirituality.
Other works by the artist Franz Marc can be viewed on this website.