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Hardcover, 8.3 x 10.2 in., 1.24 lb, 96 pages
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With his frenetic compositions and spontaneous approach, Franz Marc was cofounder of Der Blaue Reiter and a pioneer of German Expressionism. He drew inspirations from masters like van Gogh and Picasso to galvanize a new vocabulary of form and color, setting an artistic standard that would flourish for decades. In this essential introduction, we survey his most defining works and their crucial modernist legacy.

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Expressionist Blueprint

Printmaker Franz Marc’s short life fueled the rise of German Expressionism
Printmaker, landscape painter, and cofounder of Der Blaue Reiter (“The Blue Rider”), Franz Marc (1880–1916) left an exceptional legacy in German Expressionism. His work absorbed influences including Paul Gauguin, van Gogh, Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Robert Delaunay to galvanize a new vocabulary of form and color.

Especially keen on depictions of animals, Marc’s work began emphasizing cubist, semiabstracted shapes; frenetic, whirling compositions; and in his paintings, a new vocabulary of color. Marc located spiritual values in different shades. Blue was spirituality and masculinity. Yellow depicted femininity and joy. Red hues correlated to anger and violence.

It was with his friend and peer Wassily Kandinsky that Marc founded Der Blaue Reiter, a loose band of artists connected by a shared interest in woodcuts and prints, the symbolic values of color, and spontaneous approaches to painting. The group was short-lived, dissolving with the onset of the First World War—which would also claim Marc’s life in 1916—but it set an Expressionist standard that would flourish for decades.

In this new edition in TASCHEN’s popular Basic Art series, we meet this pivotal figure of German art and explore his short but hugely accomplished career, which at once defined an era and set an enduring point of Expressionist reference.
The author

Susanna Partsch (born in 1952) studied art history first in Heidelberg and, between 1980 and 1985, at the Wilhelm Hack Museum in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Presently a freelance writer in Munich, she has written books on Rembrandt, Gustav Klimt, Franz Marc, and Paul Klee.

Hardcover, 8.3 x 10.2 in., 1.24 lb, 96 pages
Born back in 1985, the Basic Art Series has evolved into the best-selling art book collection ever published. Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Art series features:
  • a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance
  • a concise biography
  • approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions
Bacon (Basic Art Series)


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Basquiat (Basic Art Series)


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Botticelli (Basic Art Series)


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Cézanne (Basic Art Series)


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Chagall (Basic Art Series)


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Christo and Jeanne-Claude (Basic Art Series)

Christo and Jeanne-Claude

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Degas (Basic Art Series)


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M.C. Escher. The Graphic Work (Basic Art Series)

M. C. Escher.
The Graphic Work

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Giger (Basic Art Series)


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Hiroshige (Basic Art Series)


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Hokusai (Basic Art Series)


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Kahlo (Basic Art Series)


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