Fate of the Animals by Franz Marc

This work is also characteristic of the sense of apocalypse and doom which began to taint Marc's work at this time and could be related to his feelings on the impending war. In a 1915 letter to his wife Maria, Marc explains that this change in his art occurred because he began to see the ugliness in animals which he had previously thought only existed in humans. He states that he was no longer able to see the beauty which animals had once represented for him. The animal motifs which once conveyed a sense of emotion no longer held their appeal and possibility. The application of paint and the division of the picture plane through the use of lines and geometric shapes now carried the emotional charge previously conveyed by animals. This change may be related to Marc's ideas on the impending war. In apprehension of the First World War, Marc was part of the school of thought that the war would purify and redeem the universe of all that was bad. Marc no longer saw animals as separate entities in their own perfect kingdom, as he had once represented them. At the point when Marc began to identify the ugliness in animals, he recognized them as part of the universe which man also inhabited and which was in need of redemption.