Vibrant colours of the horse and the landscape are not chosen just for their striking effects. Franz Marc has used colour symbolism in his compositions; blue usually represents things male, severe, and spiritual, while yellow represents feminine joy, and red encases violence and danger. The horse is also youthful, its skin smooth and unblemished, and it radiates muscular potency and energy. The creature is a being of a higher order with ethereal, otherworldly powers. An innocent natural force that opposes to be corrupted by man. The painting therefore celebrates the idea of spirituality battling materialism.
In cooperation with ZSK we recreated this motif as embroidered painting, emphasizing the vibrancy of colours that Franz Marc himself has been focusing on, while adding the third dimension to the image: embroidery threads give the art a life of its own, reflecting light in different directions and adding depth.
About the artist
The painter Franz Marc was one of the key figures of the German expressionist movement. His work is characterized by bright primary colours, abstracted portrayal of subjects, stark simplicity and profound emotions.
He is most famous for his images of brightly coloured animals, especially horses which he used to convey profound messages about humanity nearing its downfall. He looked to the primeval world as an antidote to modern civilisation from which he felt increasingly alienated. Nature and animals were more than just pleasing to him; they were spiritual beings and means of relocating what had been lost in toxic modern times. Thus, his paintings of animals are suffused with an almost meditative reverence.
Extraordinary number of stitches
In a classic embroidery, the number of stitches is somewhere between 20,000 and 200,000, and is limited by stretching and contracting of materials. By overcoming this limitations, we are able to make embroideries with millions of stitches which enables us to produce photorealistic embroideries and recreate any painting of any artistic style.
Innovation of layering
We layer multiple colours of threads and so create rich embroidery and colour texture that is impossible to create with classic one-layer embroidery technique. By layering, we develop colour transitions and shadowing, by which we create multiple-colour surfaces, similar to pointillism painting.
Smooth transitions and shading
By intertwining threads of endless colours and creating colour transitions, we can shape soft shadows, make one surface transition into another and mix colours into an endless multitude of hues. This way, we can also recreate motives from photographs and sophisticated art paintings which wouldn’t be possible with classic embroidery technique, using vector surfaces.
Sophisticated colour calibration
Usually in embroidery, 10 or 20, maybe 30 colours of threads are used. We use around 1,000 colour hues and if a colour still doesn’t match the desired one, we create it by layering and colour transitions. We have digitally scanned colours of all threads by using a spectrograph, so we can colour match any colour from an original material or from CMYK, RGB or Pantone colour schemes.