Macke, August

BORN 3 Jan 1887, Meschede, Westfalen - DIED 26 Sep 1914, Perthes-les-Hurlus, Champagne (near)
BIRTH NAME Macke, August Robert Ludwig
CAUSE OF DEATH killed in action
GRAVE LOCATION Souain, Marne: military cemetery

One of the founders of the expressionist art movement Der Blaue Reiter. Macke was the son of an engineer, F.H. Macke (1845-1904). He grew up in Bonn and Köln en was educated at the Academy and the Kunstgewerbeschule in Düsseldorf. In Düsseldorf he designed costumes and sceneries for Louise Dumont, then the director of the Schauspielhaus (theatre).

From 1905 onwards he traveled to Italy, Holland, Belgium and Paris. From 1907 to 1908 he visited Lovis Corinth's school in Berlin. On 5 Oct 1909 he married Elisabeth Gerhardt, whom he had met in 1903 on his way to school. Together they went to live in Tegernsee. When he saw work of the unknown artist Franz Marc in Munich he visited him and they became friends (in 1910 he painted his portrait, now in the Nationalgalerie in Berlin). In 1910 he met Kandinsky, Jawlensky and Münter. Macke returned to Bonn in November 1910, but together they started the Blaue Reiter movement in Munich in December 1911. The Blaue Reiter first exhibited at the Galerie Thannhauser and three of Macke's works were shown.

In 1912 he went to Paris with Marc and visited Robert Delaunay, who also became a friend. Delauney returned the visit in 1912 together with his friend Appolinaire. In 1913 Marc took part in Herwarth Walden's "Ersten Deutschen Herbstsalon" and in the same year he moved to Hiltfingen at the Thuner See. In Switserland he met Paul Klee and with und Louis René Moilliet and Klee he visited Tunesia in 1914, where he created watercolours that were much admired.

In June 1914 he returned to Bonn with his family and in August he joined the army. He saw his first action on 23 Aug and was killed on 26 Sep by a bullet. His last work "Der Abscheid" remained unfinished and is now at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Köln.

Related persons
• was pupil to Corinth, Lovis
• was a friend of Marc, Franz
• cooperated with Münter, Gabriele
• influenced Nagel, Otto


The grave of Elisabeth Erdmann-Macke at the Alter Friedhof, Bonn is also a memorial for her husband, the painter August Macke.
Picture by Androom (18 Nov 2001)


'Das Modegeschäft'.
   (1913, Münster: Westfalisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte)

'Kathedrale zu Freiburg in der Schweiz'.
   (1914, Düsseldorf: Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen)

Sources kunst und kultur im internet; online magazin

Mackeben, Theo

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 02 May 2022