Franz Marc was a central figure of the German expressionist movement, which focused on subjectivity and the unique perspective of the individual, with works often warping reality to elicit a certain emotional response in the viewer.

Wild Boars in the Water, however, represents somewhat of a departure from this style.

He was also famous for his reverent and somewhat Cubist-inspired depiction of animals, usually in their natural habitats, which he saw as a means of reconciling nature and modern life.

While Wild Boars in the Water does feature wild animals, Marc has chosen simpler forms for the boars in this piece, forgoing his usual highly-abstracted animals.

These differences are likely due in part to the medium Marc has used in this case. Though his more prolific pieces consist largely of woodcut and lithographic prints or oil paintings on canvas, Wilds Boars in the Water is one of his less formal works on paper, created using watercolours, gouache and ink.

Certainly there is a stark contrast between this and much of Marc’s other work, even from the same time period. The Yellow Cow, for example, painted in 1911 and one of Marc’s most noteworthy pieces, features, as the name suggests, a bright yellow cow composed of contrasting sharp angles and smooth curves.

In fact, Wilds Boars in the Water, though painted between 1910 and 1911, is in some ways reminiscent of Marc’s early natural realist works painted during his studies at the Munich Academy of Art between 1900 and 1902.