Franz Moritz Wilhelm Marc (February 8, 1880 in Munich, † March 4, 1916 in Braquis near Verdun, France) was a German painter, draftsman and graphic artist. He is considered one of the most important painters of Expressionism in Germany. Alongside Wassily Kandinsky, he was a co-founder of the editorial group Der Blaue Reiter, which opened its first exhibition in Munich on December 18, 1911. Der Blaue Reiter emerged from the Neue Künstlervereinigung Munich, of which Marc was a member for a short time. For the almanac Der Blaue Reiter and other publications he wrote art-theoretical writings.
While Marc's early works were still stuck in the naturalistic style of academicism, after a visit to Paris in 1907 he devoted himself to post-impressionism under the influence of Gauguin and van Gogh. Between 1910 and 1914 he used stylistic elements of Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism and Orphism, but did not completely separate from the subject in his work. During this time he created his well-known paintings, which mainly have animal motifs such as The Tiger, Blue Horse I, The Yellow Cow, The Tower of the Blue Horses or animal fates. Marc's first abstract paintings such as Small Composition I, Fighting Forms and Foxes were made in 1913 and 1914. He was drafted into the army at the beginning of the First World War and died two years later at Verdun at the age of 36.
childhood and school days
Franz Marc was born on February 8, 1880 as the second son of the Marc family at Schillerstraße 35 in Munich. His father Wilhelm Marc, who had first completed a law degree before taking up painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, was a landscape and genre painter. He came from a Bavarian family of civil servants. His mother Sophie, née Maurice, came from Alsace and had spent her childhood in French-speaking Switzerland, where she attended a strictly Calvinist boarding school. She had worked as a governess in the family of her future husband. Wilhelm and Sophie Marc had married late.
Franz and his brother Paul Marc, who was three years his senior, were baptized Catholics but brought up as Protestants. They grew up bilingual. Marc spent the summer of 1884 in Kochel am See for the first time, where the family spent almost every summer over the next few years. Both brothers attended the Luitpold-Gymnasium in Munich, where Albert Einstein was a classmate for a time.
Father Wilhelm Marc left the Catholic Church and converted to the Protestant faith in 1895. Franz Marc was thinking of studying classical philology or theology like his older brother Paul – as he reported in a letter in 1897 to Pastor Otto Schlier, whose confirmation classes had left a lasting impression on him. As an 18-year-old schoolboy, he studied literature and philosophy, particularly the work of Thomas Carlyle and Friedrich Nietzsche. In 1899 Franz Marc passed his Abitur at the Luitpold-Gymnasium.
In 1899, Marc gave up the idea of a clerical profession and enrolled to study philology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. Before beginning his studies, in October of the same year he began his one-year military service in Lagerlechfeld near Augsburg and learned to ride. During this time he decided to follow his father's profession. In May 1901 he enrolled at the Munich Art Academy. He received instruction in anatomy from Gabriel von Hackl and in painting from Wilhelm von Diez, both of whom taught in the tradition of the 19th-century Munich school of painting. During the semester breaks of 1901 and 1902 he stayed at the Staffelalm in Jachenau, which was near the family's holiday resort in Kochel am See. In 1902 he occasionally conducted studies in the Dachauer Moos north of Munich. With his S