June 26, 2011

Franz Marc

Franz Marc was born in Munich, Bavaria. His father was an artist and encouraged his son to study art, but Marc instead studied theology and philosophy before entering the Munich Art Academy in 1900. Marc was prone to being moody and had difficulty finding a way to express himself. On his first trip to Paris in 1903, he had his first contacts with the Impressionists. When he made a second trip to Paris in 1907, he saw the work of Vincent Van Gogh, and in 1910 he met Kadinsky and Macke, and became a member of the Blue Rider group. He participated in their first exhibit in Germany. Marc, began to develop his own form of expression in 1912 as the result of a meeting with Delaunay. He attempted to paint the spiritual side of nature, just as Kandinsky sought to paint the spiritual nature of man. Marc often painted animals. Within a year he was painting landscapes and was migrating toward abstraction. Like Macke, Marc’s life was cut short. Marc's career tragically ended when he was killed on the battlefield of Verdun in 1916. The only knowledge of the last two years of his life come from his notebook, found beside him and filled with nonobjective drawings depicting a world of horror.

We can only imagine the horror that Marc and thousands of others like him faced during World War I as well as other wars. Wars are sometimes glamorized by history, the movies, and by those who are captivated by its ‘romance’. So many talented, brilliant men killed out of stupidity by their supposed ‘leaders’. The follower of the Tao has no mortal leader. He follows instead the ways of Tao, in tune with the harmony of the natural universe.

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