Like other members of Der Blaue Reiter in Munich, Franz Marc focused on depicting animals, which symbolized joyous rebirth. Genesis II was made to illustrate the creation story in the book of Genesis; he planned to include it in an illustrated Bible. Here, three horses emerge from a background of chaos and movement. His Tiger is less joyous and more threatening than the bounding horses; with clenched teeth, the tiger leers toward a cowering animal behind it. After enthusiastically enlisting in the German army, Marc died in battle at Verdun, France, on March 4, 1916. His wartime death—and that of fellow artist August Macke—had a profound impact on the Munich Expressionists, whose vision of an earthly paradise quickly dissolved.
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