Franz Marc Biography

Franz Marc




Though his career was short, Franz Marc, painter and printmaker, was an important figure in the German Expressionist movement. Marc was born in Berlin in 1880. His father was a landscape painter, but Marc’s early education was probably most influenced by his mother, who was a strict Calvinist. He studied theology and languages until 1900, when he began his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. There he trained until 1903, when he traveled to the metropolitan bastion of artistic pursuit, Paris, as was the fashion for many artists at the time. In Paris he was a part of various artist’s circles, and became familiar with those who were experimenting with new styles and techniques.
In 1910 he met and became great friends with artist August Macke, and together they would found Der Blaue Reiter journal and group, a splinter movement of the Neue Kunstlervereinigung (New Movement). Eventually it included such artists as Wassily Kandinsky, Alexei Von Jawlensky, and others. This group was one of several that represented the height of German Expressionism, a time that fostered vigorous and extensive experimentation with new styles, just before the devastating outbreak of World War I put to an end much of Western art world’s freedom of exploration.  Marc’s exhaustive work in organizing exhibitions and hanging shows was cut short when he mobilized to the Front, and was killed in action by a stray shell splinter, in 1916.