Franz Marc envisaged a spiritual art expressed in pure colour and line. He despised modern society for its decadence and saw art as the key to its salvation. He found purity in nature and wanted to show the world through the innocence of animals. As result, many of his paintings depict horses, deer and sheep in harmony with nature. Marc´s colours are bold and exuberant. He attributed symbolic values to them, associating blue with masculinity and spirituality, and yellow with femininity and emotion. Red was the colour of `matter´. He saw painting as a collision of colours, with blue and yellow embroiled in a perpetual conflict with red. Believing that the First World War would have a cathartic effect on Europe and pave the way to a better society, Marc, like many of his contemporaries, joined the army when war broke out. He was killed in action in France in 1916.