Please note that the work is smaller than the catalogue illustration.
This group of drawings by Franz Marc covers the crucial years of Marc's artistic development between 1910 and 1912. Stemming from the artist's sketchbooks, they both reveal the spontaneity of Marc's draughtsmanship as well as articulating the programmatic concerns that were of such vital importance to the artist's work.
Indeed these drawings catalogue much of Marc's range of artistic progress during these important years. They reveal the stylistic evolution of his art from a pointillist landscape through the cubistic break-up of form of 1911 reflected in Bergtannen and the almost abstract synthesis of form and colour in Zwei Pferdchen, the latter of which relates to the cover of the first Blaue Reiter Almanach.
They also speak powerfully of the artist's enduring love of animals. Animals were for Marc superior to human beings in the respect that they responded to and lived closer to nature than modern man. Believing in a Nietzschean inspired dream of a new age of the spirit Marc maintained that the serenity of animals and their relationship with nature held the key to man's own evolution and spiritual salvation.
As Bergtannen shows, with its trees that take on the shape of horse's heads and boulders which look like tightly curled up sleeping animals, it was essentially the mystic connection between animals and the universe that Marc sought to express in his art: "I am seeking a feeling for the organic rhythm in all things," he wrote, " a pantheistic empathy into the shaking and flowing of the blood in nature, in trees, in animals, in the air.....I see no happier means to the "animalisation of art", as I would like to call it, than the animal picture. Therefore I treat it accordingly." (Franz Marc, Schriften , ed. Klaus Lankheit, Cologne, 1978, p. 98.)
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE GERMAN COLLECTION