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This painting of Two Bathing Girls (Zwei badende Frauen) by Franz Marc, was completed in 1909, just near the beginning of his mature period, when he fully began to combine his fondness for anatomy with his language of colour.
Eventually, representations of animals would replace his human subjects almost completely, but this piece is an excellent example of Franz Marc's symbolic colour palette.
What Marc had aspired to achieve with his colour symbology was to create the same intense stirring of emotion one experiences when hearing music. In fact, he viewed his works and music to be so much the same, that he often referred to his paintings as "compositions".
Curved, flowing brush strokes of varying length and thickness blend together in a spectrum of yellow and gold shades. According to Marc's artistic philosophy of colour, yellow is symbolic of the feminine principle; joyous, gentle, and sensual.
The marriage of the smooth, curved brushstrokes and yellow palette create a scene of Two Bathing Girls in a serene and happy moment.
While earlier works painted by Marc were more academic in style, it was in 1903 when he discovered Impressionism. Post-Impressionist painter Van Gogh especially inspired Marc with his emotional brushstrokes. This influence is evident in another piece painted the same year as Two Bathing Girls, titled Cats on a Red Cloth.
With Franz Marc's various works depicting nudes and bathers, he desired to portray a sort of primitive paradise, where the natural forms seem to animate the landscape.
Marc often painted animal subjects as a means of representing the more spiritual force of nature, but also strove to achieve this through his works depicting primitive people, children, and the mentally ill.
This painting, like so many other works by Franz Marc, evoke profound sentiment through simplicity. The subjects and landscape are natural, not aspiring to make grand political or social statements, but deeper, more emotional ones.