Two Cats Sketch is just one of the many cat-inspired works by Franz Marc, and one of dozens and dozens of works featuring animals. In actual fact, one of the reasons behind Marc depicting animals so frequently is in tune with the reason behind his style moving towards Expressionism.

He subscribed to Kandinsky's theory that art was more valuable as an expression of a subject's spiritual essence than as a physical likeness. It was his absorption with the spiritual essence which drew him to nature, which in his mind retained the pure spiritual force dulled by human civilisation.

Two Cats Sketch commemorates a transition period of sorts, during which time Marc began to move away from the realism of his earliest works and began to take inspiration from the French Impressionism movement, prompted by his visit to Paris in 1903.

Though not displaying the bold, unnatural primary colours and angular shapes of his expressionistic pieces, this sketch does seem to capture that spiritual essence that lead Marc to pursue Expressionism.

The light, chaotic pencil strokes convey a sense of continuous movement as the cats circle each other with a primitive grace.

In spite of successful pieces like this, Marc was keen to move further and further into abstraction, and his last painting before the war broke out - Fighting Forms - finally did away with form altogether.

He had this to say on the subject: 'the more we confront objects with the reflection of their appearance, the more silent they become.' If his life had not been cut tragically short during The Battle of Verdun, it would have been fascinating to see the innovative ways his love of animals would have continued to manifest itself in his abstract pieces. Franz Marc also produced Two Cats Blue and Yellow and Three Cats.