He is also known for his use of strong primary colours. His no-nonsense jump-in-your-eye colouring-book basic colours immediately capture the viewer's complete attention. It is upon deeper contemplation that any nuances or symbolisms become apparent.
This intriguing picture, Two Horses, Red and Blue, resides in the Museum of Art in the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. It is an animal painting in the style of expressionism/cubism, it measures 38x45cms; Marc painted it in 1912 using water-colour on paper.
Also in 1912, he met the artist Robert Delaunay and was influenced by Delaunay's use of colour and his futuristic methods. Maybe it is this influence we see here in the curious nature elements surrounding the two horses.
Kaleidoscopic inclining planes represent a complete nature landscape: hills, trees, sky, sun, stars, moon, plants, mountains. The horses themselves are centrally positioned, encased by the painter's colourful abstract nature.
Here, as in all Franz Marc's art, solid primary colours are evident. Marc used strong blues, yellows and reds in a symbolic way. In "Two Horses Red and Blue", the choice of different colours for the horses tells us that the two animals, although the same species, are emotionally different.
The artist's colour-based emotional symbolism attributed the colour red, logically, to elements of danger or violence.
The red in this picture is attenuated, and symbolizes earthy nature, just hinting at the underlying violence of nature's law-of-the-jungle. Here, however, the red horse appears easy and at peace with nature.
Marc used blue to represent spirituality, and his dreamy blue horse is looking off searchingly into the distance. Franz Marc painted many pictures of horses; the majority of them are spiritual blue.