Franz Marc (German, 1880–1916) was a painter and printmaker, and a leading member of the German Expressionist movement. Born in Munich in 1880, Marc studied at the Academy of Fine Arts there, later traveling to France where he was deeply influenced by the works of Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890) and other Post-Impressionist artists.

In 1910, Marc met Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866–1944), who was, at that time, a member of the influential group of Expressionist artists, Neue Künstlervereinigung (“New Artists’ Association”). Marc joined the group for a short time before he and Kandinsky split off to create Der Blaue Reiter. Having long shared an interest in Eastern philosophy and religion, the two artists emphasized an emotional and spiritual interpretation of the world in their works, as opposed to an objective representation. During this time, Marc's work became increasingly abstract in nature, displaying influences of Futurism and Cubism. In particular, his work is characterized by frequent depictions of animals and a strong use of color.

Shortly after the start of World War I, Marc enlisted, and was killed in combat in Braquis, France.

Today, his works can be found in the collections of many major public and private institutions, including the Guggenheim and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Spain.

Exhibitions

2001
"Franz Marc and the Blue Rider" Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (solo)
2000–2001
"Franz Marc: Horses" Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, Boston, MA