August Macke

Art on This Day


German Expressionist and leading members of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) August Macke was born on this day in 1887.


Born in Germany he studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, under Adolf Maennchen then went on to work as a stage and costume designer at the Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf. 


In 1907 Macke traveled to Paris where he first saw the work of the Impressionists, shortly after he moved to Berlin and spent a few months in Lovis Corinths Studio. At this time he formed his style in French impressionism and Post-Impressinism and later he went through a Fauve Period. Shortly after he met Kandinsky and shared the non-objective aesthetic and the mystical and symbolic interests of Der Blaue Reiter. 


Macke met Robert Delaunay in Paris in 1912 and from that point his work became majorly influenced by the chromatic Cubist approach known as Orphism.  His Shops Windows can be considered a personal interpretation of Delaunay's Windows.


He then traveled to Tunisia in April 1914 with Paul Klee and Louis Moilliet. This journey was fundamental for the creation of the luminist approach of his final period, during which he produced a series of works now considered masterpieces.


Macke's career was cut short by his early death in the second month of the First World War at the front in Champagne, France, on 26 September 1914. His final painting, Farewell, depicts the mood of gloom that settled after the outbreak of war.