After turning from his original studies of philosophy and religion to art, he found the spiritual dimension of nature to be inspiring and emotional. This belief continued to have an influence on Marc's work throughout his relatively short life.

Marc used colour as a way of depicting gender, with cold shades such as blue and purple representing masculinity. In this painiting, the most striking example is the craggy, harsh mountains shown in the background of the scene.

It has been speculated that these may represent the artist himself, perhaps including himself as part of the largely male class responsible for the wars and strife of Europe at that time.

The painting is set firmly in its period by the inclusion of the red, castellated sign towards the bottom left of the canvas. This is in the style of those used by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, of which Tyrol was then a part.

Marc is expressing the misery and destruction that was caused by the conflicts in the Balkans, and is also anticipating the far greater ruin soon to be brought about by the First World War.

Throughout his career, Marc tended to depict animals as signs of goodness and regeneration, as in his Yellow Cow painting of two years earlier. This is partially subverted in Unfortunate Land of Tyrol, with the grazing horses shown to be thin with hunger.

Their location in front of a cemetery emphasises the state to which humanity has brought the land. Even so, a bird and rainbow offer small flickers of hope for a better future.

This work, painted in oil on a large canvas measuring 131 by 200 cm, is held by the Guggenheim Museum of New York.