February 8, 1880, Munich – March 4, 1916
Franz Marc was a German painter and printmaker who is known for the intense mysticism of his paintings of animals. He was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a journal whose name later became synonymous with the association of German Expressionist artists.
Marc’s early works were painted in a naturalistic academic style, but after discovering French Impressionist painting in 1903 he adopted a more modern approach, using simplified lines and vivid colors.
During a trip to Paris in 1907 he encountered the work of the Post-Impressionist Vincent van Gogh, whose vigorous, emotional brushwork profoundly influenced him. Van Gogh’s effect on Marc’s style is especially evident in Cats on a Red Cloth (1909–1910).