Blue Horse I (Blaues Pferd I) (1911) by Franz Marc

Blue Horse I (Blaues Pferd I) - Marc, Franz - 1911

Artwork Information

TitleBlue Horse I (Blaues Pferd I)
ArtistFranz Marc
Date1911
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions112.5 x 84.5 cm
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About Blue Horse I (Blaues Pferd I)

In 1911, Franz Marc created “Blue Horse I” (Blaues Pferd I) an oil painting which measures 112.5 x 84.5 cm. The painting is a prominent example of German Expressionism and is one of a series of horse paintings that the artist made during his lifetime. The other versions in the series are Blue Horse II and Yellow Cow, both completed after this piece.

The powerful blue horse depicted in Blue Horse I is wild and untamed which has prompted several interpretations of its meaning by art experts and scholars. Some believe that it expresses the artist’s desire for spiritual liberation, while others interpret the painting as a sign of war or destruction caused by World War I. No matter what interpretation you take away from Blue Horse I, it certainly captures the turbulent state of life during this era.

Franz Marc’s Blue Horse I had a lasting impression on modern German Expressionism, but still stands out amongst European artwork as an individual masterpiece with its emotional connection to nature within it’s abstract form. While there can be many interpretations, it remains an artistic reminder of Franz Marc’s passion and skill which is still appreciated today.

Also regarded as an iconic statement in European art history is Edouard Manet’s railway scene ‘The Railway’ captured in 1872-73 with striking realism yet expressive brushstrokes conjuring both quietude and movement at the same time. This painting influenced later impressionist works throughout France including Monet’s ‘Gare Saint-Lazare’ over thirty years later.

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