Two 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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The majority of paintings created by Expressionist Franz Marc depict animals in their natural environments, engaging in their natural behaviours

Cats are portrayed in calm moments of sleep or grooming. Dogs are shown sleeping. Tigers, guarded and ready to pounce. While Marc's extensive catalogue is filled with various animal subjects, it is perhaps his many paintings of horses that are the most profound.

In this piece, as in several other works by Franz Marc, the symbolic use of colour and imagery is apparent. In accordance with the language of colour employed by Marc, vibrant shades of blue are used throughout to represent masculinity and spirituality.

The strong, blue horses in what appears to be a moment of tranquillity under the night sky, at the base of majestic blue mountains depict a harmony among living things in nature.

Perhaps this was a longing, or an aspiration of the artist, who chose to portray animal subjects in his work because of their innocence, purity, and fragility. To Marc, the world that these creatures existed in was a better world, uncorrupted by the things of man.

Two Blue Horses, or, Zwei blaue Pferde, in Marc's native German tongue, was completed in 1913. During this same year, Franz Marc also produced Foxes, Fate of the Animals, as well as The Tower of Blue Horses.

This year marked the beginning of his late period, and a visible shift from representational into complete abstraction. This transition can be seen in works from 1914 such as Playing Forms, Forms in Combat, Broken Forms, and Cheerful Forms.

Even though Marc would only live for another three years before being killed by shrapnel during the Battle of Verdun in WWII, he would create an extensive body of work which have had a lasting impact on Expressionism and Abstraction.