February 08, 1880. Franz Marc (February 8, 1880 - March 4, 1916) was a German painter and printmaker, one of the key figures of the German Expressionist movement. He was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists collaborating in it. In this image: An employee stands in front of Franz Marc's 'Weidende Pferde III,' or 'Grazing Horses III, at Sotheby's in London, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008.
Another one who could have changed the face of art but died in WW I - our world would be so different if the best and brightest hadn't died in that useless slaughter:
With the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Marc enlisted in the German Army as a cavalryman. By February 1916, as shown in a letter to his wife, he had gravitated to military camouflage. His technique was to paint canvas covers (for hiding artillery from aerial observation) in broadly pointillist style. He took pleasure in creating a series of nine such tarpaulin covers in styles varying "from Manet to Kandinsky", suspecting that the latter could be the most effective against aircraft flying at 2000 meters or higher.
After mobilization of the German Army, the government identified notable artists to be withdrawn from combat for their own safety. Marc was on the list but was struck in the head and killed instantly by a shell splinter during the Battle of Verdun in 1916 before orders for reassignment could reach him
The Tower of Blue Horses (German: Der Turm der blauen Pferde) is a 1913 Expressionist oil painting by the German artist Franz Marc. It has been called one of his best works, but went missing in 1945.
Essay at Archive