The German painter and print-maker Franz Marc (1880-1916) became a key figure in the German Expressionist movement. His father was a professional landscape painter, and most probably due to his influence, Franz would pursue his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In 1903-1907 he lived in France and spent time visiting the Paris museums. Vincent Van Gogh’s works greatly interested him, and in 1910 Marc became acquainted with the artist August Macke. Soon after, in 1911 Marc founded the journal Der Blaue Reiter with Macke, Wassily Kandinsky and other artists who were no longer happy with the Neue Künstlervereinigung. In the winter of 1911-12, Marc exhibited his works in Munich. Most of Marc’s paintings revolve around portrayals of animals in natural settings. His paintings of cats portray the animals in their natural states of sleeping and grooming. Through his use of bare simplicity and primary colors his paintings evoke a deep sense of emotion. Depicted in primary colors his cats present a deeper meaning when we understand that blue means masculinity and spirituality, yellow represents feminine happiness, and red symbolizes violence. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Marc joined the German army as a cavalryman. He tragically died in 1916 at the Battle of Verdun. He was just 36 years old. The Nazis deemed his works “degenerate”, and it was only after World War II that they were once again exhibited.