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Franz Marc's "Yellow Cow" Analysis

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´╗┐Franz Marc?s ?Yellow Cow?: A Short Analysis ________________ Franz Marc was an Expressionist painter. He was born in Munich in 1880 and unfortunately died at the young age of 36 in 1916 at Verdun, after volunteering to join the army in the First World War. As well as ?Yellow Cow? some of his other most renowned paintings include ?The Red Horses?, ?Blue Horse 1?, ?Fighting Forms? and ?Fate of the Animals?. Marc?s father was a philosophical landscapist and his mother was from a strict Protestant family, so it was no surprise when young Franz soon decided that his life goal was to become a priest. However this path was not to last long and, after a voluntary year in the army, Marc finally resolved to turn to art. In 1900 Marc began to study drawing with Gabriel Hackl and painting with Wilhelm von Diez at the Munich Academy. ...read more.


Rosenthal believes that Maria could have been Marc?s inspiration for the painting. Rosenthal goes on to link the cow?s freedom and movement to Kandinsky?s idea of ?inner necessity?, and he suggests that the cow is somehow stimulated by its physical and natural circumstances to act and feel in a way that is completely free and innate. In the painting, the cow leaps and bounds in its field, oblivious to anything else, it?s free will intact. The continuation of the yellow colour of the cow to the right of the head and to the white below the udder shows the unity between the cow and nature as they blend into each other. This supports Franz Marc?s own idea that animals are pure and at one with nature. We see a simplistic use of primary colours in the painting; however the shapes of the different aspects within the painting are arranged in a chaotic, disorganised way which could portray the excitement and mixed emotions that Marc must have been feeling at the beginning of his new wedlock. ...read more.


The extension of the yellow shows how Mary Franck occupied the whole of Marc?s thoughts, which is generally acknowledged as a classic characterization of love. It would appear to me that the blue mountains depicted in the background of ?Yellow Cow? represent Marc, his masculinity and all of his spiritual aspirations, yet the bright yellow cow in the foreground is a likely depiction of Maria Franck. In essence, the painting has become a wedding picture for Franz Marc and Maria Franck, as they are brought together in unison in the same painting. Yet, in my mind, this extraordinary painting is not simply a portrayal of a marriage, but a representation of the inner imaginings and thought processes of Marc which, at this stage in his life, are centred on his true love. The dawn painted as the skyline perfectly completes the image as it symbolises the new start that Marc felt he had, in a new marriage, and with a new love interest. ...read more.

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