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.


  • Title: The Sheep
  • Date Created: 1913 - 1914
  • Physical Dimensions: w770 x h545 cm (Without frame)
  • Painter: Franz Marc
  • Original Title: Das Schaf
  • Artist Information: Franz Marc studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Munich. At first he studied an academic style, but influenced by his travels to Paris, his work became increasingly more expressionist. In 1910, he met August Macke and Wassily Kandinsky, with whom he founded the art group Der Blaue Reiter in 1911. Marc concentrated largely on painting animals, for which he developed his own colour symbolism. Marc simplified his form language under the influence of cubism. He died at an early age: he lost his life during the First World War.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Bequest of M. Tak van Poortvliet 1936, http://collectie.boijmans.nl/en/disclaimer/
  • External Link: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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