Saturday, February 27, 2016

A tribute to Sorolla on his birthday

February 27, 1863. Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (27 February 1863 - 10 August 1923) was a Valencian Spanish painter. Sorolla excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes. His most typical works are characterized by a dexterous representation of the people and landscape under the sunlight of his native land. In this image: A technician adjusts 'The Bathing Hour' a painting by Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla on display at Sotheby's auction rooms in London, Friday, May 29, 2009.

"Mending the Sails" is perfect in every way. It is magnificently conceived, masterfully constructed, and painted in the most beautiful manner imaginable. The colors, brushwork, paint quality, detail and lack of detail, focus and lack of focus, expression in the faces, setting into the background: all absolutely flawless, and more that that, absolutely gorgeous. Never before or since has a painter done a better job harmonizing a full array of natural colors.

Contemporary realists have an array of machines and devices unimagined by Sorolla, and yet they cannot produce anything like this. Why? We cannot seem to come up with subjects this interesting or paint them with such virtuosity. To put it another way, we simply aren't as good as Sorolla.

Miles Mathis has  spoken out against the retentiveness of some of the realists in the US, who paint on plastic and sand away all specks and generally worry all interest out of their paintings. I recommend Sorolla to them, as a tonic to this fussiness. Sorolla is primarily interested in his image, not his paint. He learned this from his master, Velasquez. Velasquez also often uses a rough canvas and leaves lots of specks and globs standing in his final paint layer. Both seem completely blind to any small details like this. Sorolla occasionally takes this a bit too far, as I said, as if he is doing it wilfully, but Velasquez always knows where to stop. If you are noticing the specks in a Velasquez, you are standing too close and are not looking at the painting like a painting should be looked at. The moment you look at the painting as a painting, the specks and globs disappear, and you understand why he ignored them--or used them. (from http://mileswmathis.com/index.html. Review of a Sorolla/Sargent show in Paris).
 


Sorolla was acknowledged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as one of the foremost Spanish painters. He initially rose to acclaim in the United States with his prize-winning submission to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. On the heels of this success, and a triumph at the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition, Sorolla was invited by the philanthropist and collector Archer Milton Huntington to show his work in 1909 at The Hispanic Society in New York City. The public response to this exhibition was unprecedented, drawing more than 150,000 visitors in one month.


Born in Valencia Spain on February 27, 1863, and orphaned two years later, Joaquin Sorolla overcame his humble begin- nings by winning a scholarship to the Spanish Academy in Rome. Upon graduation, he began sending his paintings to all the leading salons, including Madrid, Paris, Munich, Chicago, Vienna, Berlin and Venice, continuously winning awards. Re- quests for portraits began about this time and, combined with his prize-winning exhibition pieces, secured his position as a world-class artist.


Soon tiring of the academic sobriety of his large studio compositions, he turned his attention to outdoor location work, and from 1901 to 1905 he produced the 500 works of his first one-man show in Paris (1906). This was followed by numerous other important shows, all of which led up to his greatest success at the Hispanic Society of America (New York). In 1911, he began a monumental set of murals for the society depicting life in the various provinces of Spain. The vast size and scope of the project (some pieces measuring 15x35 feet) forced him to trade his usual sense of compositional verve for a more rigid and stylized approach. The series took Sorolla seven years to complete. Exhausted by the end of it, he suffered a stroke in 1920, leaving him paralyzed and unable to work. He died three years later at the age of 60.


Joaquin Sorolla was passionate about the two loves in his life - his family and his art. Sorolla painted very, very fast. "I could not paint at all if I had to paint slowly," he once said. "Every effect is so transient, it must be rapidly painted." Most of his pictures were painted in from four to six mornings, many in one or two. He did not have a set idea of how a painting would turn out before he started, preferring to build up the composition as he went along. Sorolla was primarily interested in the image, not his paint. He learned this from his master, Velasquez who also often used a rough canvas and did not highly finish his canvas.

Whether working outdoors in sunlight or painting from a window or lamp-lit interior, Sorolla kept reasonably close to the age-old axiom that every object in light should be painted a middle-gray value or above, and every object in shadow a middle-gray value or below. And a study of his work bears this out. 

Sorollo from Wikipedia 
Dedicated site 
The Anthenaeum 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Renoir


February 25, 1841. Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau." In this image: A visitor looks at the 1874 painting 'La Loge (The Theatre Box)', right, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir on display in an exhibition 'Renoir at the Theatre : Looking at 'La Loge' at the Courtauld Gallery in London, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008. The exhibition for the first time brings together 'La Loge' with Renoir's other treatments of the subject and loge paintings by his contemporaries. On the left is a small version of the same painting recently bought by Diane B. Wilsey of U.S. in an auction at Sotheby's for three times its pre-sale estimated.

 Le Moulin de la Galette, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

 "Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Monet worked closely together during the late 1860s, painting similar scenes of popular river resorts and views of a bustling Paris. Renoir was by nature more solid than Monet, and while Monet fixed his attentions on the ever-changing patterns of nature, Renoir was particularly entranced by people and often painted friends and lovers. His early work has a quivering brightness that is gloriously satisfying and fully responsive to what he is painting, as well as to the effects of the light.

"Renoir seems to have had the enviable ability to see anything as potentially of interest. More than any of the Impressionists, he found beauty and charm in the modern sights of Paris. He does not go deep into the substance of what he sees but seizes upon its appearance, grasping its generalities, which then enables the spectator to respond with immediate pleasure. "Pleasure" may be decried by the puritanical instinct within us all, but it is surely the necessary enhancer that life needs. It also signifies a change from Realism: the Impressionists' paintings have none of the labored toll of Millet's peasants, for example. Instead they depict delightful, intimate scenes of the French middle class at leisure in the country or at cafes and concerts in Paris. Renoir always took a simple pleasure in whatever met his good-humored attention, but he refused to let what he saw dominate what he wanted to paint. Again he deliberately sets out to give the impression, the sensation of something, its generalities, its glancing life. Maybe, ideally, everything is worthy of attentive scrutiny, but in practice there is no time. We remember only what takes our immediate notice as we move along.

"In The Boating Party Lunch, a group of Renoir's friends are enjoying that supreme delight of the working man and woman, a day out. Renoir shows us interrelationships: notice the young man intent upon the girl at the right chatting, while the girl at the left is occupied with her puppy. But notice too the loneliness, however relaxed, that can be part of anyone's experience at a lunch party. The man behind the girl and her dog is lost in a world of his own, yet we cannot but believe that his reverie is a happy one. The delightful debris of the meal, the charm of the young people, the hazy brightness of the world outside the awning - all communicates an earthly vision of paradise." Sister Wendy


 "One of Renoir's early portraits, A Girl with a Watering Can, has all the tender charm of its subject, delicately unemphasized, not sentimentalized, but clearly relished. Renoir stoops down to the child's height so that we look at her world from her own altitude. This, he hints, is the world that the little one sees - not the actual garden that adults see today, but the nostalgic garden that they remember from their childhood. The child is sweetly aware of her central importance. Solid little girl though she is, she presents herself with the fragile charm of the flowers. Her sturdy little feet in their sensible boots are somehow planted in the garden, and the lace of her dress has a floral rightness; she also is decorative. With the greatest skill, Renoir shows the child, not amid the actual flowers and lawns, but on the path. It leads away, out of the picture, into the unknown future when she will longer be part of the garden but an onlooker, an adult, who will enjoy only her memories of the present now depicted."

- Text from "Sister Wendy's Story of Painting", by Wendy Beckett


Renoir: Lately it's become trendy to disparage and insult Renoir for being too "Pretty." What is wrong with beauty? Doesn't the world have enough ugliness? Their reasons for hating Renoir seem ignorant and stupid. Of course, we should question loving the old masters but then, look and look again. There is a reason these paintings have survived. They evoke or can evoke the deepest positive reactions that humans are capable of.

The play of light on the bodies and faces in the "Moulin de la Gallette" is revolutionary - the sunshine, the fluent shadows, the intense color were a revelation in their day (and probably since).



Max Geller’s (Founder of the "Renoir Sucks" movement) claim that Renoir fails to show the “beauty” of nature is astonishingly and crassly wide of the mark. Not only is the art of Renoir beautiful but he, personally and single handedly, taught the world to appreciate new dimensions to the beauty of the world we live in. By getting closer to the way we actually see, he showed us jewels that previous generations had never noticed. This can be seen gloriously in his sensual appreciation of a rainy day in the city, "The Umbrellas."  (Wednesday 7 October 2015 09.46 EDT).
The Umbrellas at the Frick.

Yet here is a painter who asked: "Why shouldn't art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.”


Renoir's late work was an inspiration to another generation of painters, including Picasso, Matisse and Bonnard. He loved to paint and the work from the final three decades of his life, roughly 1880 to 1919, is among his best.  Early Renoir was all about Impressionism –  color, light, movement. Then a break came in the early 80s and the work became more disciplined in a crisper, drier style,  reminiscent of the frescoes  he admired in Pompeii. About his late works, Renoir said:  "I'm starting to know how to paint. It's taken more than fifty years to get this far, and I've not finished yet.”

At the end of his life, Renoir developed serious rheumatoid arthritis which crippled him. Yet, in a silent film from that period, you see a giggling, old grizzled man, a cigarette  dangling from his lips, joking with friends, one of whom helps him hold a paint brush in fragile, injured fingers.  At the time, Renoir  was living in Cagnes, near Nice in the south of France in a house by the sea, a timeless Arcadian world of beauty. Here he captured feminine beauty, adorable children, man and nature in its most idyllic state. He may have been a fashionista, given that his father was a tailor and his mother a seamstress but Oh, what a painter. Could Degas have painted a dancer more beautifully and yet, look at her enigmatic expression. You want to know more about her and her world. How many painters have achieved so much.


His lush late nudes are the personification of Mother Earth in all her abundance. Only those enchanted by anorexic nudes and heroin chic would fail to respond to their curvaceous sensuality.

 Tilla Durieux

Essays on the Renoir paintings at the Frick.
Ten things Renoir taught us about painting.
Renoir at the Met.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Georges de La Tour at the Prado

On 23 February, the Museo del Prado will be opening the exhibition Georges de La Tour. (1593-1652,) on display in Room C of its Jerónimos Building. The exhibition will allow visitors to discover La Tour’s artistic personality, expressed through both his realist treatment of humble figures and his refined religious scenes. A century after the rediscovery of the artist with the publication of the art historian Hermann Voss’s article in the German publication Archiv für Kunstgeschichte, the Museo del Prado has brought together thirty-one of the forty known works by this painter from Lorraine.

https://www.museodelprado.es/en/

It seems impossible to realize that de la Tour had to wait until 1915 to be rediscovered. via a handful of scholarly articles. He's still not well known so this exhibit at the Prado (no images via the web) will be a treasure trove for those lucky enough to see it.

St. Jerome

No body has ever painted candlelight in such a way - the flame lighting only certainly portions of the face or body while leaving the rest of the canvas in magical darkness.
"In St Jerome Reading the light steals over the saint's shoulder from the left and travels through the letter in his hand. What he is reading we too can just about make out through this backlit page, repeatedly folded and unfolded, a marvelous patchwork of light and shadow. It could be such an ordinary moment, an old man squinting at his mail, but de La Tour makes it intensely enigmatic: the light threads through the eyeglass in Jerome's hand, magnifying a few hairs of his beard, the red of the cassock sends a reflective glow through the letter, and the letter becomes nearly transparent in this sacramental light. " (Guardian, July 2007).


"Little is known of Georges de La Tour's life. By 1620 he was established at the prosperous town of Lunéville, where he specialized in religious and genre scenes. His primary patrons seem to have been Lunéville's bourgeoisie and the duchy's administration at nearby Nancy. In 1639 he gained the title of peintre du roi (Painter to the King) and was wealthy enough to arouse jealousy among his fellow townsmen. La Tour's early mode typifies the Mannerist style of Nancy. By the 1620s, however, he had come into contact with the art of Caravaggio, probably through prints or paintings by northern artists such as Gerrit van Honthorst and Hendrick ter Brugghen. Lit by crisp daylight, La Tour's works from this period are characterized by their still atmosphere and meticulous rendering of ornament and textures.

Increasingly, La Tour was drawn to candlelight scenes in which a single flame created an atmosphere of otherworldly calm. He gradually simplified forms until, in his late works, all masses were reduced to simple, almost geometrical, shapes. After his death, La Tour passed into virtual oblivion for almost three centuries. In 1915 a German scholar recognized La Tour's style in several pictures that had been variously ascribed to Spanish, Dutch, and other French artists."

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Allure of Art Nouveau

Beginning in the 1890s, Art Nouveau captivated urban centers in Europe and North America. The style permeated everything from graphic arts to architecture, interior design, and decorative arts. A number of characteristics define the style: a reverence for nature with an emphasis on organic designs; the use of “whiplash” curvilinear lines; and a seemingly limitless portrayal of the female form, with artists depicting women as ethereal, sensual nymphs. Motifs were interpreted in both realistic and stylized fashions.


Many Art Nouveau designers felt that 19th century design had been excessively ornamental, and in wishing to avoid what they perceived as frivolous decoration, they evolved a belief that the function of an object should dictate its form. This theory had its roots in contemporary revivals of the Gothic style, and in practice it was a somewhat flexible ethos, yet it would be an important part of the style's legacy to later movements such as modernism and the Bauhaus.

Nature served as a driving force of the Art Nouveau movement, inspiring designers throughout Europe and North America. While many Art Nouveau artists took a realistic approach in their interpretations of nature, others created more fanciful designs, with natural imagery appearing in a mysterious, serpentine, dream-like state. Designers often explored metamorphic themes, melding a variety of human, animal, and plant forms together—combining insects, females, and flowers.

Alongside nature, no other subject matter was depicted so extensively as the female form. Artists portrayed women as enchanting, otherworldly maidens. The jardinière on display evokes this theme with a dragonfly that seems to meld with the woman’s head, while sunflowers and poppies appear to be growing from her hair. Art Nouveau artists’ elaborate portrayal of female tresses helped distinguish the design style. From decorative arts to paintings and illustrations, women’s hair serves as a focal point and takes on a life of its own. Locks flow, curve, and meander, often filling the entire canvas.


The proliferation of images of women, sometimes described as femme-fleurs, became a symbol of Art Nouveau, particularly in the medium of sculpture. The erotically charged nature of many of these works is one of the most prevalent features of the style. A new generation of sculptors, such as Auguste Ledru (1860­–1902), abandoned historical subjects of the past. Instead, they explored new themes in both traditional formats and novel contexts including lamps, fruit dishes, and desk ornaments.

A vibrant group of artists and designers fostered the style, such as painter and illustrator Alphonse Mucha, architect Victor Horta, art glass pioneers Emile Gallé and Louis Comfort Tiffany, and furniture maker Louis Majorelle. Referred to as Jugendstil in Germany, Sezessionstil in Austria, Glasgow Style in Scotland, and Modernisme in Spain, each country’s interpretation of the style varied. All of its proponents, however, encouraged artists, architects, and designers to create innovative, modern designs. Designers emphasized the creation of holistic decorative interiors and sought to bring artistic design into daily life. The 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle celebrated all aspects of the new ‘modern style.’ Visited by fifty-one million people, the fair displayed Art Nouveau architecture, furniture, jewelry, ceramics, graphic arts, glass, textiles, and metalwork.


A leading advocate of the style, Parisian art dealer Siegfried Bing opened the gallery Maison de l’Art Nouveau in 1895, which featured new art and design from Europe as well as Japanese arts. Many World’s Fairs showcased Art Nouveau, but the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle celebrated all aspects of the new ‘modern style.’ Visited by over fifty million people, the fair displayed Art Nouveau architecture, furniture, jewelry, ceramics, graphic arts, glass, textiles, and metalwork. Hector Guimard’s sinuous cast iron designs for the new Paris Métro stations debuted the same year. Further disseminating the style, magazines, such as the German publication Jugend, posters, postcards, retailers, and mail-order catalogs promoted Art Nouveau at the turn of the twentieth century. Both ateliers and larger manufacturers offered items in the style, making Art Nouveau designs available to a broad audience.

The Art Nouveau movement encouraged artists, architects, and designers to create modern, innovative designs. The advent of the style can be traced to several influences: the first was the introduction of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the 1880s, led by the English designer William Morris (1834–96). In response to the Industrial Revolution, the movement emphasized a return to hand craftsmanship. Both Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau artists rejected revivalist styles and sought to move away from the cluttered designs and compositions of Victorian-era decorative arts. Around the same time, the Aesthetic movement promoted the doctrine, “art for art’s sake,” or the celebration of art simply for the pleasure drawn from its beauty. Also of critical importance, Symbolist artists were exploring the inner world of the psyche and spirit, making myths, dreams, and religion their subject matter. Meanwhile, the vogue for Japanese art, offered an alternative to established European styles. Japanese woodblock prints contained stylized organic forms and dynamic, curvilinear lines, which would become hallmarks of the Art Nouveau style.


The style went out of fashion after it gave way to Art Deco in the 1920s, but it experienced a popular revival in the 1960s, particularly in San Francisco when psychedelic poster artists began emulating the work of Art Nouveau graphic artists. It is now seen as an important predecessor of modernism. Although the movement had made the doctrine that "form should follow function" central to their ethos, some designers tended to be lavish in their use of decoration, and the style began to be criticized for being overly elaborate. In a sense, as the style matured, it started to revert to the very habits it had scorned, and a growing number of opponents began to charge that rather than renewing design, it had merely swapped the old for the superficially new.

The Allure of Art Nouveau: 1890–1914 is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby, San Francisco International Airport. The exhibition is on view to all Airport visitors from February 13, 2016 to August 14, 2016. There is no charge to view the exhibition.
All images courtesy of the SFIA Museum; more images http://www.flysfo.com/museum/exhibitions/allure-art-nouveau-1890%E2%80%931914

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hippo Day

Celebrate with the Met’s unofficial mascot William!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hou Beiren (opening at NanHai later in February)





The images don't do justice to the delicacy of the ink or the texture of paper - they have to be seen in person (if Possible). Images courtesy of NanHai Art.

'Hou Beiren at 100'

 Wind in Pine trees
Hou Beiren is regarded as one of China’s most important contemporary artists to transform Chinese painting. NanHai Art will celebrate the opening of his work on Saturday, February 20th with a reception from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., at their Millbrae gallery (510 Broadway). "Hou Beiren at 100" will feature 14 new paintings created between 2014 and 2015 that continues his exploration of the ‘splash ink and color’ school of painting—a style developed in collaboration with legendary painting master, Chang Dai-chien in the 1960s. Zhang Daqian or Chang Dai-chien (Chinese: 張大千; May 10, 1899 – April 2, 1983) was one of the best-known and most prodigious Chinese artists of the twentieth century. Originally known as a guohua (traditionalist) painter, by the 1960s he was also renowned as a modern impressionist and expressionist painter.

A Visit To The Temple
Vast and Hazy Clouds
This school of painting incorporates Modernist and Abstract elements with traditional brushwork of classical Chinese painting. In these new works, Hou demonstrates his command of both Chinese and Western traditions, combining bold colors and rhythmic brushwork with abstracted imagery.

Here in the West, Hou is renowned for his contemporary interpretation of the ‘splash ink and color’ school of painting, which seamlessly integrates both Eastern and Western aesthetics. Combining contemporary techniques and age-old methods, Hou often paints  on rice paper with Chinese ink and color in a style called pomo. "Po" means splash or breaking/pentrating, while "mo" is the Chinese word for ink.

Hou Beiren was born in 1917 in Liaoning, China and graduated from Kyushu University, Japan in 1943. During his early years, he studied painting under Li Zhongchang, then with Huang Binhong and Zheng Shiqiao. Hou moved from Hong Kong to the United States in 1956 and settled in “Old Apricot Villa”, his home in Los Altos, California.

For the last half century, Hou has been engaged in art creation and established his own unique and innovative “splash ink and color” painting style, which seamlessly integrated both Eastern and Western aesthetics. Hou is regarded as one of the most influential overseas Chinese artists to the transformation of Chinese painting. Bisit toth creative and prolific he proved adept in several disciplines, including a role as a politician. Hou also has authored three novels, a history of sociology and a text on the principles of Chinese art. After Communists gained power, Hou left China for British-controlled Hong Kong in 1948. He said a 1954 United States law allowed for 2,000 "famous people" from Hong Kong to come to the United States. Hau was among them.

Traditional Chinese painting usually involves wide-ranging, often very detailed landscapes accompanied by poetry and minimal use of color. Starting in the 1950s, after he moved to the United States, Hou began incorporating bright and varied colors in these landscapes, and the paintings went from being grounded in realism to taking on impressionistic qualities. At the same time, Hou's work somehow continued to respect time-honored traditions. His subject matter continues to be soothing, idealistic scenes of his homeland from life long ago.

Hou’s works have been exhibited and collected throughout the US and internationally, including Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Jose Museum of Art, National Art Museum of China, Nanjing Museum, Zhejiang Art Museum, and Austria Museum of Modern Art. In 2004, the City of Kunshan in Jiangsu, China built Hou Beiren Art Museum to house 300 pieces of that Hou donated. In 2015, Liaoning Art Museum opened Hou Beiren and Zhang Yunqin Gallery. 

Unquestionably one of the most important Chinese painters of the Twentieth Century, Chang Daichien has been compared to Picasso in many exhibition essays and catalogs. Even though the artist lived half of his career in the West and a decade in California, his work remains virtually unknown in the Western art world. This obscurity is especially surprising in light of the high visibility afforded Asian American artists including Isamu Noguchi, Chang Dai-chien's contemporary (1904-1988), and contemporary artist Hung Liu. Because ink painting is rarely presented in American museums, there is a widespread lack of familiarity about its traditions, aesthetics and practitioners, and hence, little respect for the work. Since few non-Chinese can read inscriptions, rapid or casual appreciation is limited for many.

As a preeminent painter of twentieth-century China, Chang Dai-chien integrated modern sensibilities into traditional Chinese painting. In 1956 he made his first pan-European tour, at which time his eyesight began to deteriorate. During this time, he unexpectedly developed his most innovative painting technique of splashed ink and color. Clouded Mountains exemplifies the splashed ink technique. The poem, inscribed by Chang, reads:

"I was in the mood to paint in the middle of night
My wife and son were awakened from their dreams
Ink overturned and running out of control
Emerging from the summer clouds a celestial mountain."

Lonely Peak and Deep Valeys in Rain


In a 2015 interview, Hou was asked how he'd like to be remembered. "Just an artist," he said.

Interview: "Hou Beiren at 100" is open to the public from February 20, 2016 - March 26, 2016. Nanhai Art will host an opening reception on February 20 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

http://www.examiner.com/article/hou-beiren-at-100-opens-at-nanhai-art?CID=examiner_alerts_article

All images courtesy of NanHai art

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Birthday Franz Marc


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



  Wikipedia


 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