Art is nothing but the expression of our dream; the more we surrender to it the closer we get to the inner truth of things, our dream-life, the true life that scorns questions and does not see them.
Today we are searching for things in nature that are hidden behind the veil of appearance. We look for and paint this inner, spiritual side of nature. Blue is the male principle, stern and spiritual. Yellow the female principle, gentle, cheerful and sensual. Red is matter, brutal and heavy and always the colour which must be fought and vanquished by the other two.
Serious art has been the work of individual artists whose art has had nothing to do with style because they were not in the least connected with the style or the needs of the masses. Their work arose rather in defiance of their times.
What appears spectral (unearthly) today will be natural tomorrow.
We are staunch and true and in rather a champagne mood.
Portrait of Franz Marc, 1910 by August Macke
Little Blue Horse, 1912
The Large Blue Horses
The First Animals, 1913
Dog Lying in the Snow
Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky
“I am sure of one thing: many silent readers and young people full of energy will secretly be grateful to us, will be fired by enthusiasm for this book [the Blaue Reiter Almanac ] and will judge the world in accordance with it.”
In a letter to Kandinsky, (c. Dec. 1911)
“Art today is moving in directions of which our forebears had no inkling; the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are heard galloping through the air; artistic excitement can be felt all over Europe – new artists are signalling to one another from all sides; a glance, a touch of the hand, is enough to convey understanding.” [co-authored with Kandinsky ]
In: Franz Marc’s Manifesto for ‘Der Blaue Reiter’ group, (1912)
“In this time of the great struggle for a new art we fight like disorganized ‘savages’ against an old, established power. The battle seems to be unequal, but spiritual matters are never decided by numbers, only by the power of ideas. The dreaded weapons of the ‘savages’ are their new ideas. New ideas kill better than steel and destroy what was thought to be indestructible.”
Franz Marc was a German painter and
printmaker, one of the key figures of the German Expressionist
movement. He was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists collaborating in it.
Marc enlisted as a cavalryman, but by February 1916, as shown in a letter to his wife, he had gravitated to military camouflage. His technique was to paint canvas covers in broadly pointillist style. He took pleasure in creating a series of nine such tarpaulin covers in styles varying “from Manet to Kandinsky”, suspecting that the latter could be the most effective against aircraft flying at 2000 metres or higher, noting that the role of camouflage was to hide artillery from aerial observation.
After mobilization of the German Army during World War I, the government identified notable artists to be withdrawn from combat for their own safety. Marc was on the list but was struck in the head and killed instantly by a shell splinter during the Battle of Verdun in 1916 before orders for reassignment could reach him.