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Woman in the Green Jacket - Painting by August Macke
Woman in the Green Jacket - Painting by August Macke
Woman in the Green Jacket - Painting by August Macke
Woman in the Green Jacket - Painting by August Macke

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Woman in the Green Jacket
August Macke
Oil on Canvas 1913

I had never heard of August Macke until I visited Germany in the early 1990's, which I suppose is the perfect place to discover him.

In 1907 Macke studied in Berlin under the artist, Lovis Corinth, and later came under the influence of the French Fauves ("the wild ones") after a 1909 trip to Paris. Macke developed an intense interest in juxtoposing intense and opposite colors in his paintings.

In 1911 Macke participated in the first exhibition by one of the earliest expressionist groups, Blauen Reiter ("Blue Rider"). In 1913 the artist participated in the first German autumn salon in Berlin, and in the same year organized an exhibition in Bonn of Rhineland expressionists.

When the First World War broke out, Macke was drafted and sent to the front lines. After only a few weeks, he was killed on the battlefield on September 26th, 1914, near Champagne, France. His friend and fellow painter, Franz Marc, wrote Macke's obituary:

"In a war we are all equal. But amongst a thousand brave men, one bullet has hit someone who cannot be replaced. His death means that a hand has been cut off a nation's culture, an eye has been put out... we, the painters, know full well that with the loss of his harmony of colours German art will become paler by several shades and that is will acquire a drier and more lustreless note. More than anybody else, he gave the brightest and purest note to his colours, just as his entire personality was one of clarity and brightness."

Tragically, Franz Marc's own career as an artist came to an end when he was inducted into the military and killed on the battlefield in March of 1916.

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