Nineteenth century born German expressionist, Franz Marc, created “The Fate of the Animals,” one of his most celebrated works of art, in the year 1913. The 196cm by 226cm oil on canvas, echoing angular geometric shapes, portrays a scene with an eclectic array of various animals in an extremely fantastical and stylized way.
At first glance, you notice your eye being drawn to the bottom left corner where the boar like figures are staged. Directly to the right in purple, Marc places a figure somewhat resembling a fawn with its neck extended upward leading the eye up and to the left where two horse-like figures are placed. The stallions are positioned towards the right where the last set of animals is placed. A pack of four foxes are placed towards the right far right side of the canvas.
Marc’s choice of animals, interestingly enough, emphasized the power and movement of the painting. Noticeably, the two boars are blood red, which emphasizes the power and vitality of this animal. Boars can symbolize fierce combat and fighting to the death and the use of this warm red color gives more intensity to these figures. A deer is often a symbol of heavenly longing, grace, and the ability to defeat all evil. Only one deer is staged, which emphasized the power of this animal. Marc chooses to represent the deer in purple; this color is a symbol of royalty and God-like power. The fact that the neck is extended upwards towards the sky could symbolize the deer pointing towards the heavens. The two green stallions are representative of natural beauty and vitality. The color green coincidentally is the color of nature and my also suggest stability and endurance, much like the stallions. Lastly, the pack of four foxes is representative of cunningness and intelligence. These figures are painted in a deep almost neutral yellow, a color that stimulates the brain and mental activity. Interestingly enough, Marc’s choice of colors has a direct correlation with the content of the images whether it was conscious or unconscious.
The focal point of this piece is the bottom left corner. Then the eye is dragged to the middle right where the deer is staged, back to the stallions on the left, and then around to the pack of foxes. Compositionally…