The Large Blue Horses – (Franz Marc) Previous Next


Artist:

Style: Expressionism

Topic: Animals Colour Horses

Date: 1911

Size: 104 x 181 cm

Museum: Walker Art Center (United States)

Technique: Oil On Canvas

This work, which represents three vividly coloured blue horses looking down in front of a landscape of rolling red hills, is characterized by its bright primary colors and a portrayal that utilizes cubist style, stark simplicity, and a profound sense of emotion. According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, "the powerfully simplified and rounded outlines of the horses are echoed in the rhythms of the landscape background, uniting both animals and setting into a vigorous and harmonious organic whole.". It is thought that the curved lines used to depict the subject are to emphasize "a sense of harmony, peace, and balance" in a spiritually-pure animal world and that by viewing human beings are allowed to join this harmony. In The Large Blue Horses, Franz Marc uses rich, bright colors and curvy lines. The curves of the horses are repeated in the hills in the background. Notice how the horses take up almost the entire canvas, so that they become abstract. Abstraction is changing, rearranging, distorting or deforming something from its original state. Try drawing an object and make it touch all four edges of your paper. Parts of your drawing can even go off the sides of the paper. Blue Horses in symbolically bound to certain of the originating conceptions of the contemporaneous Blue rider group: in the symbol of the horse as a vehicle of breakthrough, in the emphasis on the spirituality of blue, and in the idea of spirituality battling materialism. That Marc had employed four horses in his earlier composition of the Lenggries Horse Painting and reduced the number to three in 1911 may reflect the further influence of Kandinsky, who, following theosopyical practice, employed three instead of four horses as reflective of the apocalypse. But the absence of a rider is in keeping with Marc's own belief in the supremacy of animal spirituality over that of humans.

This artwork is in the public domain.

Artist

Franz Marc

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