Franz Marc (1913), oil on canvas
Inspired by the Impressionists, particularly Vincent Van Gogh, Francis Marc began his intensive study of animals in their natural setting. Among the Independent German Expressionist, his works in particular were characterized by bright primary colors, bold simplicity, and a profound sense of emotion. In The Fate of the Animals, he even displays a style that markedly resembles cubism. This has been known to be an apocalyptic image, showing the destruction of the natural world due to industrialization. It was painted on the eve of World War I, inspired by tensions of the prewar period. Marc even noted “it is like a premonition of this war, horrible and gripping.” Sadly, WWI would be the very instrument of his end when a shell splinter struck him in the head, killing him instantly.