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The riding school painting was completed in 1913, and is a glimpse to the artistic heights reachable by Franz Marc. This is a painting he made on woodcut and paper, using only black and white colours to paint the masterpiece.
Franz Marc uses the cubism style to paint an impression of a horse riding school.
The subject is placed centre on the canvas and is that of a rider on a horse. The horse appears to be galloping at high speeds, followed closely behind by another horse. A third horse appears to the right of the canvas and looks as if it will collide with the rider at the centre; maybe the reason why the rider seems to be reeling the horse away from the intruder.
The ground below them appears to be made out cloudy matter or clouds of dust from the galloping. To the upper right of the canvas are spiraling lines with straight lines cutting through them.
This can be interpreted as a cloudy sky with sun rays piercing through to highlight the horses below. The bottom right part of the canvas shows a dog with the head facing the horse at the middle. The dog appears to be barking at the horses as if to direct them towards a specific direction.
Presence of the dog could signify that the riding school is an actual open field where horses are trained. Back in the day dogs were used to control livestock and domesticate animals like horses and donkeys.
The middle horse, the main subject, appears to have been tamed and can now be controlled by the rider. The other horses are free wild spirits but they are both gravitating towards the middle horse, perhaps following its lead.
Many if Franz Marc's animal paintings were heavily laced with metaphors. Other works of this nature by the same artist include Donkey Frieze, Resting Cows, The Little Blue Horses and the Yellow Cow.