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The fate of the animals

Painting, 1913, 196×226 cm

Description of the artwork «The fate of the animals»

In 1914, Franz Marc started a great and daring project: in conjunction with Alfred Kubina, Paul Klee, Erich Hekkelem and Oskar Kokoschka to illustrate the Bible. A mark left that part of the Bible, which deals with the creation of the world.

Very soon the war started and the project did not take place, but if anyone's up to now check out the paintings of the expressionist illustrations of the Bible, he would have this idea failed. The works of Franz Marc can be safely illustrate the creation of the world: "Battle of the forms", "Sleep" ,Tyrol.

And here is a picture "The fate of animals" can the biblical story (and with it the history of the world) to complete. Mark indifferent flipped through the remaining sections of the Bible – and soon after the creation took up the Apocalypse. This is the only extremely expressionist the canvas of the artist: intense, desperate, prophetic, disturbing. Before his animals was always a dream of Paradise, of the natural and harmony, they slept and drank water, grazed and looked at the sky, and they are terrified, they die, they are spilling fiery hail and falling trees, the ground was slipping out from under them feet.

The painting has a subtitle, invented by mark and recorded on the reverse side of the canvas: "Trees show their rings, the animals their veins". Scared, and alone, and others do it only after death. And even if this terrible poetic subheading was not, the meaning of the work would not need explanations.

1913 – before the first World war had a year in Europe with a speed of epidemic spreading fear and a growing premonition of a great tragedy. Expressionist painters smarter than the common man – they had only a few years and do that enhance the contrasts of colors on his canvases, to the unnatural broken gestures of the characters and escalate the tension in the composition. They sense trouble and multiply that feeling ten times in painting.

One of the most powerful languages of emotions for Mark, like many avant-garde artists of this time, turns color. "Blue is the male principle, austere and spiritual. Yellow is the female principle, gentle, joyful, sensual. Red – cruel, hard color of matter, which is constantly overcome the first two!" the artist wrote in a letter to a friend August Macke. Blue LAN in "the Fate of animals" is absolutely clear in the language of Mark is read as the embodiment of spirituality and world order. And the red fire vortex left behind is matter that can't be overcome that wins, destroying the true life, natural and harmonious.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Animalism, Mythological scene

Style of art: Expressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1913

Size: 196×226 cm

Artwork in selections: 25 selections

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