Franz Marc a German expressionist painter and print-maker died a century ago, in 1916 at the Battle of Verdun, when a shell splinter hit him in the head. He was 36.
The First World War Battle of Verdun was one of the most horrific and costliest battles in all of military history. Both the German and the Allied High Command blindly pursued a ‘War of Attrition’; attempting to wear down the enemy through loss of life and equipment.
In a War of Attrition the side with the most resources wins. Unfortunately both sides were evenly matched, and stubborn enough to believe they had superior resources. Neither really cared for their own troops, sacrificing the soldiers under their command like pawns on a chessboard.
A whole generation was exterminated – brave lads on both sides who volunteered, believing the fight was just. When High Command’s cavalier attitude towards their own men became public, the public were appalled. It was no wonder they decided World War One should be the ‘War to End All Wars’.
Unfortunately World War One never was a ‘War to End All Wars’ in any size shape or form. In the whole 20th Century there were only 6 days of world peace.
In 1936 the Nazis suppressed Modern Art, condemning Marc as a degenerate artist.
His 1913 ‘Fate Of The Animals’ – showing bright vibrant nature smothered by the yellow-brown smog of industrialisation – probably speaks to us louder than ever today; as the rate of species going extinct climbs with each passing decade.