German painter (1880-1916) who was one of the principal figures of the Expressionist movement and a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter. Though he was among several notable artists whose names were on a list to be withdrawn from combat during World War I, he was killed by a grenade at the Battle of Verdun before the order could be carried out. ALS in German, signed “In tiefer Liebe Dein Freund [In deep love, your friend],” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 5.5 x 8.75, February 2, 1911. Important letter to Maria Franck, his future wife, with a sketch in black ink of the painting 'Weidende Pferde IV (Die roten Pferde) [Grazing Horses IV (The Red Horses)],' within the text. Marc is describing and illustrating his very large new painting of three horses grazing in a landscape, which is wholly colored except one corner he has to change, explaining that the colors are hard to describe but that the landscape uses pure cadmium and cobalt blue, deep green, and carmine red, the horses in shades of yellow, brown, and violet, emphasizing that the colors are controlled within a strong triangular composition, also telling her of a forthcoming meeting of the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (NKVM) with Erbslöh, Werefkin, Kanoldt, and others. Marc discusses the dispensation needed to allow him to marry Marie, praising the petition that has been prepared by Fromm, inferring that Schnür’s deposition must have been very strange and even comical, and that he feels confident of success. In fine condition.
Grazing Horses IV (The Red Horses), now in Harvard's Busch-Reisinger Museum, is one of a series of three monumental paintings in primary colours made by Marc in 1911, also including Yellow Cow and the Large Blue Horses. Although Marc’s ink sketch clearly identifies the painting here, his description of the colors differs from the final version. However, he makes clear his principle of containing the strong colors within a strong formal scheme. Marc had married Marie Schnür in 1908 in a marriage of convenience. When she divorced him a year later, she laid a charge of adultery against him, which meant that he had to petition for a dispensation to allow him to marry Marie Franck, which he did in London in 1911.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.