Franz Marc (1880-1916, German)

Franz Marc's cats, cats in artThe 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.




Franz Marc Katzen







Cat Sketch

Cat Sketch


Franz Marc Cat Lying Down Sketch

Cat Lying Down


Franz Marc, three cats ink drawing, cats in art

Three Cats
Ink Drawing


Franz Marc Kittens Lying Down, cat drawings

Kittens Lying Down


Franz Marc Two Cats Drawing, cat art, art cats

Two Cats





Franz Marc Two Cats 1912

Two Cats


Franz Marc Dog, Fox and Cat 1912, cats in German expressionism

Dog, Fox and Cat




Franz Marc Two Cats 1913 Museum Kochel, Germany

Two Cats
Museum Kochel, Germany





Franz Marc Playing Cats 1913 Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany

Playing Cats
Stuttgart, Germany





Want to know more about cats in art, history and literature? Then this is the book for you. Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 


Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats




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  1. Neat – I like this series. Since everyone – especially artists- seems to have a cat this is more interesting – would be more if more explanations/ stories were added.

    • LA Vocelle says

      I try to add the biographies of all artists and any relevant anecdotes. Let me know if you find some information that I have left out.

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