“The Tower of Blue Horses” (“Der Turm der blauen Pferde”, in German) is a 1913 Expressionist oil painting by the German artist Franz Marc. It has been called one of his best works, but went missing in 1945.


(“Der Turm der blauen Pferde”, by Franz Marc, 1913, 200cm by 193cm.)

After World War I, The Tower of Blue Horses was one of the works by Marc acquired for the new contemporary annexe of the Berlin National Gallery housed in the Kronprinzenpalais. It was removed from there as part of the “cleansing” of modern art works under the Nazis, and included in the Degenerate Art exhibition which opened in 1937 in Munich. However, in response to a protest by veterans because Marc had died fighting for his country in the war, the painting was removed and was not included in the exhibition when it opened in Berlin.

It was then transferred to Hermann Goering’s custody as part of a select group of valuable modernist paintings which also included two other works by Marc. Goering sold at least some of these at a considerable profit, but appears not to have sold The Tower of Blue Horses, which went missing at war’s end.

Edwin Redslob, an art historian who became Rector of the Free University of Berlin, wrote in 1977 that he had seen the painting in the Haus am Waldsee in Zehlendorf, Berlin, while still under Soviet occupation.

Other statements and theories about the fate of the painting that have been published include its having been destroyed at Carinhall when Goering had the house blown up as the Russians advanced towards it in 1945, its having been in the Prussian Chamber of Deputies, and its being in Switzerland, most likely in a bank safe in Zurich.

In 2001, the German Expressionist collector Jan Ahlers said that he had been offered the painting for sale, although he never showed the work.

More about Franz Marc HERE.



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