In 1904 August Macke father died and in that year August Macke enrolled at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf at the age of seventeen. In April 1905 Macke traveled with Walter Gerhardt, his future brother in law, to northern Italy and Florence. In July 1906 he traveled to the Netherlands, Belgium, then to London, where he visited the city’s museums and the same year he broke off his studies at the Academy. In 1907 August Macke traveled to Paris, where he saw the oil paintings of the Impressionists, which fascinated and influenced him. Back in Germany he went to Berlin and attended the art school of Lovis Corinth for a short time. After doing his military service for one year as a volunteer in 1908, the artist married, now in Bonn, Elisabeth Gerhardt.
In 1909 August Macke got acquainted with Franz Marc in Munich, with whom he would be friends for the rest of his life and with whom he established Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) the following year. His early Impressionist style developed into a use of strong, sunlit color applied in painterly facets of light. His preferred subject matter remained urban scenes of shopping and leisure. With their colorful and spacious, two-dimensional forms August Macke's works from that time displayed clearly the influence of the painting of Henri Matisse and Franz Marc. In 1912 they both journeyed to Paris, where they discovered Cubism and the work of Delaunay.
The most intense period of Macke's life spanned a mere few months in 1914. the year began with an exhilarating trip to Tunisia with Paul Klee and ended with his death on the French front. The trip to Tunis with Klee contributed to the development of his own style of bright, intensive coloration and crystalline design. August Macke's world of oil paintings is unmistakable, making him another of the world's artist. Quiet compositions, scenes of nature, the open countryside or of places inhabited by monumental, faceless figures show his harmony-seeking look at the contemplative world of the regular citizen until the outbreak of World War I. Even on the front, however, the painter of Der Blaue Reiter sought moments of relief from the anguish of the trenches in his favorite motifs, painting figures communing with nature. On September 26, 1914, nearly two months into WW1, August Macke fell on the western front in France at the age of 27.
August Macke’s In the Bazaar painted in 1914 was auctioned in 2011 for US$6.0 million.
Art Movement: Expressionism.
Artists Influencing August Macke: Arnold Bocklin, Robert Delaunay, Lovis Corinth.
He Traveled To Italy, France, Italy, Netherlands, Tunisia, Belgium.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.