The decisive epicentrality of the year 1913

Lawrence Weschler in Wondercabinet:

I’ve recently been corresponding with the erudite, recondite and just plain delightful arts writer Morgan Meis, initially about our mutual passion for Vermeer, but more latterly about his specific passion for Franz Marc, and in particular for Marc’s astonishingly powerful and powerfully prophetic 1913 painting The Fate of the Animals (below), the title as well, as it happens, of Meis’s own superb monograph on same.

In the words of that book’s jacket copy, “In 1913, Franz Marc, one of the key figures of German Expressionism, created a masterpiece, The Fate of the Animals. With its violent slashes of color and line, the painting seemed to prefigure both the outbreak of World War I and, more eerily, Marc’s own death in an artillery barrage at the Battle of Verdun three years later.”

And Meis’s book takes off from there. I am somewhat ashamed to admit how till reading the book I had never spent any particular amount of time thinking about that painting, or even that much time thinking about Franz Marc—a state of affairs that in the mean-between has now been decisively upended (I can hardly wait to make it over to Basel to see the painting in person and in the flesh, as it were).

More here.