How does a dog see the world? Marc’s ‘Russi’ nestles peacefully on a bed of snow. The artist had to work on her coat for a long time before “a pure colour relationship between the yellow, the cold white of the snow, and the blue in it had been accomplished”. For Marc, who founded the Blauer Reiter artists’ association with Kandinsky and Macke, animals in harmony with nature embodied the idea of a pure and pristine life – an all-encompassing congruity of creation. In 2008, visitors to the Städel voted ‘Dog Lying in the Snow’ their favourite painting.
This popular painting by Franz Marc of a dog lying in the snow joined the museum's collection twice. The first occasion was when it was purchased from the painter's widow in 1919, after which it hung in the modern section until 1937. The National Socialists removed it from the collection together with seventy-six other works as part of their confiscation of "degenerate art", but in 1961 the opportunity presented itself to acquire the work, by then in a private American collection, for the second time. The purchase price of 175,000 marks was almost three times higher than the previous top price paid by the Städel for modernist art - but after a short period of consideration, and in view of the importance of the painting for the collection, the Museums-Verein decided to buy it back.