Tower of Blue Horses Franz Marc Buy Art Prints Now
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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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This striking work depicting four blue horses is indicative of Marc's fears of the apocalypse and end of days

Looming above the viewer, the four blue horses can be taken to represent the four horsemen of the apocalypse and the bold blue colours impart a cold and foreboding feeling to this work.

Repeating lines, a hallmark of Marc's work, are seen throughout The Tower of Blue Horses and provide the work with a rigid structure that reinforces the strength of the composition and the power of the four horses.

There is a distinct lack of depth in the painting and the horses tower over us as does the landscape in the background of the painting. This gives the painting a feeling of tension and almost anxiety as these huge, cold horses tower above us without any respite or depth in the painting.

The reading of the painting as containing an apocalyptic yearning is reinforced by Marc's use of the crescent moon which is prominently displayed on the chest of the first horse.

The crescent moon was commonly used by German impressionists to symbolize the apocalypse and with it all the connotations of rebirth and renewal. Painted in 1913, The Tower of Blue Horses can be seen as a work which is looking towards the coming war with a mixture of foreboding and hope.

The carnage of World War 1 could not have been foreseen but the opportunity for cleansing and a fresh start for Europe are hinted at in this painting, reinforced by the use of the strong blue colour, which often symbolises hope in Marc's work.

The Tower of Blue Horses is a fine example of the bridging point between his focus on the natural world as evidenced in his earlier works and the more abstract focus found in later works such as Broken Forms.