The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

February 8, 2014

February 8, 1880

Franz Marc (February 8,1880 to March 4, 1916) was born in Munich. The details below are from the occasionally incoherent website, We found the quotes there useful. 

Marc's father, Wilhelm, was a "landscapist of 'curiously philosophical character'" according to his first biographer, Alois Schardt. "Marc's grandparents, were amateur artists who copied the masters. They and his great grandparents were aristocrats, with friends among artists as well as people of letters."

[As a mature painter] Marc ascribed spirituality and maleness to blue, femininity and sensuality to yellow, and terrestrial materiality to red. .... Marc and Kandinsky shared similar ideas on art: both believed that true art should possess a spiritual dimension. ...The use of the word "mystical" encourages both the impression of something which is not immediately obvious or material and a sense of intrigue. Marc seemed to be striving to achieve and to capture this "mystical inner construction" in his paintings of animals. 

And perhaps this emphasis on animals reflects his thoughts on Van Gogh: 

Van Gogh is for me the most authentic, the greatest, the most poignant painter ...To paint a bit of the most ordinary nature, putting all one's faith and longings into it - that is the supreme achievement... Now I paint... only the simplest things... Only in them are the symbolism, the pathos, and the mystery of nature to be found.”

In one of his last letters from the war front Marc wrote:

The only true, constant, philosophical comfort is the awareness that this exceptional condition will pass and that "I-conciousness" which is always restless, always piquant, in all seriousness inaccessible, will again sink back into its wonderful peace before birth..

His paintings of cats demonstrate the 
Blaue Reiter principles with which Marc is associated.
You can see some of the cat paintings here.

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