My Life with Franz Marc. ‘Sometimes My Heart is About to Burst’
Mein Leben mit Franz Marc. ‘Das Herz droht mir manchmal zu zerspringen’

January 2016 / 192pp
Biography and Memoir

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This memoir provides valuable details about Franz Marc’s life and development as an artist, in a new and deeply personal account of the period during which Maria Marc, née Franck, was part of his life. Simply and sincerely narrated, My Life with Franz Marc is intriguing both as a far from straightforward love story and as an account of the intense artistic activity in and around Munich in the period leading up to the First World War. 

The book covers the decade from Maria Franck’s first meeting with Franz Marc in 1905-6 to his death in 1916. Maria and Franz met when she was twenty-eight and he was twenty-five. She was financially dependent on an allowance from her parents, and his financial situation was precarious. Their friendship deepened and they went on holiday together and worked closely with one another in nearby studios. Maria had to juggle her own inclinations with her duty to her parents, who for a long time remained unaware of her relationship with Franz Marc. When she and Franz were apart they wrote to one another frequently, and extracts from the letters are quoted in the text. My Life with Franz Marc is based on accounts of Maria and Franz’s relationship and eventual marriage written by Maria Marc for her family, which have been shaped into a captivating story by the editor Brigitte Roßbeck. 

Maria Marc’s memoir offers new insights into Franz Marc’s artistic life, describing his struggles to produce the art he had in mind – he frequently destroyed work he was dissatisfied with – and the impact of artists like Jawlensky, Kandinsky and Gabriele Münther who belonged to the Neue Künstlervereinigung München, where Marc was later accepted as a member. Other important artistic influences included August Macke and Paul Klee. Franz was called up to serve in the army on the outbreak of the First World War, and spent only short periods of leave with Maria from then on. He was killed in 1916. 

My Life with Franz Marc is a story of devotion, put under enormous strain by Franz Marc’s impulsive, headstrong nature. The memoir sheds light on social mores and conditions in the early 20th century in Munich and Berlin and will appeal both to art historians and to those interested in an autobiographical love story.

about the author

Maria Marc was born in Berlin in 1876. She was a painter, tapestry weaver and Franz Marc’s second wife. After Franz Marc’s death in Verdun in 1916 she devoted herself to the administration of his estate and works and embarked on a second artistic career as a Bauhaus weaver in Weimar. She died in 1955. 

Brigitte Roßbeck was born in 1944 and is an historian, freelance journalist and radio editor. She has been writing biographies for many years and is a member of PEN International.

Previous works include:
Brigitte Roßbeck (editor): Franz Marc (2015); Marianne von Werefkin (2010); Zum Trotz glücklich – Caroline Schlegel-Schelling (2009)

rights information

Translation rights available from:

Verlagsgruppe Random House
Neumarkter Str. 28
81673 Munich, Germany
Contact: Gesche Wendebourg
Tel.: +49 89 4136-3313

Siedler Verlag, founded in 1980, is one of the most prestigious publishers for non-fiction books on political, historical, social, cultural and scientific topics in Germanspeaking countries. In addition to historical works and books on current events, the list includes biographies and autobiographies of well-known personalities from history, politics, and culture. Internationally renowned authors contribute to the imprint’s tradition as a forum for readers interested in politics and history. Authors published by Siedler include Daniel Goldhagen, Mikhail Gorbachev, Stephen Greenblatt, Eric Kandel, Peter Longerich, Christian Meier, Joseph Nye, Olivier Roy, Simon Schama, Helmut Schmidt and Joseph Stiglitz.

translation assistance

Applications should be made to the Goethe-Institut.

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