He was inspired to create this painting after a visit to the Italian town of Merano in the Southern Tyrol. In Merano he felt a "magical" harmony existed between humans and nature. He chose to portray it in here in The Bewitched Mill.
In this painting, human life is represented by the mill and the houses on the left. The animals, water and trees represent nature. The image fills the canvas with vivid, symbolic use of colour that Marc is well-known for. He uses flat, geometric and abstract shapes demonstrating his knowledge and use of cubist influences.
The sense of movement is created by the fractured shapes of the red wheel and the curves of the water splashing down onto the animals. Marc's use of the animals within this painting is not surprising.
He wanted to see the world through their innocent, pure eyes so the animal's demeanour is important. The animals are contented and relaxed drinking the water. The birds appear playful splashing in the water. They appear in total harmony with their environment, just as Marc had sensed when he visited the area.
Marc's later works were to became more abstract and focused on the "impurities" in the world. Not surprisingly, given the worldwide events at that point in mankind's history. Marc lost his life on the battlefields of Verdun just three years after this painting was completed.
This beautiful piece of art is both enchanting and mesmerizing. At every inspection the viewer seems to gain a new discovery and insight into Franz Marc's private world.