The Fate of the Animals by Franz Marc

The Fate of the Animals by Franz Marc
The Fate of the Animals by Franz Marc

Franz Marcis one of the very few artists of theavant-garde of the 20th centurywho devoted much of his art to paint the animal world And he did it without the need for the appearance of human beings in his paintings. And this 1913 play titled The Fate of Animals is a good example of that.


The Fate of Animals by Franz Marc

The truth is that he made that decision to paint animals from the year 1910 and it was due to his complete disagreement and detachment from the materialistic society of his time, since he considered that the human being due to that attitude mercantilist was losing all his humanity. And according to what he said, the contemplation of the animals had reawakened in him all the noblest feelings, which he believed he had already lost.

That is, painting animals was not an aesthetic decision, but rather a philosophical and moral one. In fact, this work can be considered as Franz Marc's vision of the world at the time. That is why this work, which today hangs in the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland,is an oil painting on a large canvas (196 x 266 cm) and in it we see the destruction of the world as Marc contemplates it. Something that stands out with an inscription on the back of the painting, where you can read: "And all existence is intense suffering."

In the fabric we see various animals likehorses, foxes or deer completely surrounded by an apocalyptic scene that is obviously the result of the action of men. An atmosphere of destruction that causes nature to confront and destroy itself. It is even known that at first he intended to title the painting thus: “The trees showed their rings and the animals, their veins”.

That title change was due to the advice given to him by Paul Klee, who like Marc, is part of the group of painters of German Expressionism. But not only did Klee do that. The truth is that the painting was seriously damaged during the World War I. A contest in which Marc himself died during the fighting at the Battle of Verdun in 1916.

For that reason, two years later, around 1918, it was the same Klee who undertook a careful restoration of the great canvas. A restoration whose objective was not to reproduce an emblematic characteristic of Marc, such as his ability to apply translucent colors at times. Klee's goal was different and he focused above all on restoring integrity to the composition of the scene. And it is that Franz Marc had made an image in which each line and each color created by both the figures of the animals and the abstract forms are essential. The elimination or change in them would suppose a fundamental variation. And that was what tried to keep the intervention of Klee who had known the finished work, and even while it was painted.

Ultimately, it's abouta great work by Franz Marc with the addition of the intervention of another great artist of his time such as Paul Klee.

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