Franz Marc was one of Germany’s most important Expressionist artists. Together with Wassily Kandinsky and others he founded the famous artist group Der Blauer Reiter, The Blue Rider. Marc volunteered in the war. He sent this postcard to the owner of Der Sturm gallery, Herwarth Walden, while in France, asking him to sell one of his paintings. It’s one of his last ever pieces of correspondence. Marc had just been listed as a notable artist who should be withdrawn from service when he was killed during the Battle of Verdun in 1916.
Walden was himself a German Expressionist artist and a key promoter of German avant-garde art in the early 20th century. Marc asks him to sell his painting Gelbe Kuh, The Yellow Cow, for 900 marks. Marc considered this to be a ‘war price’, appropriate for the time. The postcard demonstrates that creatives and cultural intellectuals became soldiers, that the art market lived on despite the war, and that wealthy collectors at home could capitalise on the difficult situation of some artists.
- Article by:
- Stephen Badsey
Professor Stephen Badsey reflects on how letters, parcels, and newspapers – although subject to censorship – kept family and friends in touch with soldiers serving in World War One.
- Article by:
- Paul Gough
- Representation and memory
Professor Paul Gough introduces British and Belgian artists of World War One, from Henry de Groux and his eyewitness responses to the Belgian invasion, to the later generation of British artists who transformed their frontline experiences into abstract, modernist artworks.