Marc was born in Munich and studied at the Munich Art Academy starting in 1900. In 1903 and 1907 he spent time in Paris and discovered a strong affinity for the work of Vincent Van Gogh. Marc developed an important friendship with the artist August Macke in 1910. In 1911 he formed the Blaue Reiter artist circle with Macke, Wassily Kandinsky, and other artists. Most of his mature work portrays animals, usually in natural settings. His work is characterized by bright primary color, an almost cubist portrayal of the animals, stark simplicity and a profound sense of emotion. This got him noticed in influential circles even in his own time.