August Macke

Frau mit Kindern

August Macke, Frau mit Kindern

Pencil on paper

13.2 × 8.3 cm / 5 3/16 × 3 1/4 in

Titled, dated and stamped with the estate stamp »BZ 25/14« on the verso

Catalogue Raisonné by Heiderich 1993 no. 2230

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The artist’s estate; Galerie Nierendorf, Berlin (1958, no. 53); Galerie Hutton-Hutschnecker, New York (1969, cat. no. 135); Hauswedell & Nolte, Hamburg (Auction 5 - 7 June 1975, Lot 1171); Private Collection Virgina, USA

  • Hutton-Hutschnecker Gallery, "Kandinsky - Franz Marc - August Macke. Drawings and Watercolors", 16. Apr. - 28 Mai, New York 1969
  • Galerie Nierendorf, "August Macke Aquarelle, Bilder, Zeichnungen", 15. Sep. - 15. Nov., Berlin 1958
  • Galerie Ludorff, "Neuerwerbungen Herbst 2023", Düsseldorf 2023, S. 104
  • Ursula Heiderich, "August Macke – Zeichnungen – Werkverzeichnis", Stuttgart 1993, Nr. 2230 (o. Abb.)
  • Hutton-Hutschnecker Gallery (Hg.), "Kandinsky - Franz Marc - August Macke. Drawings and Watercolors", Ausst.-Kat., New York 1969, Kat.-Nr. 135
  • Galerie Nierendorf, "August Macke. Aquarelle, Bilder, Zeichnungen", Berlin 1958, Nr. 53

In the year our drawing was created, August Macke's second son, Wolfgang, was born and the family spent time in Hilterfingen on Lake Thun. On 7 November 1913, Elisabeth Macke writes in a letter to her mother: August has established himself upstairs in the room and the whole walls are already full of pictures. He often sketches outside and then paints by heart, putting things together. Our picnic and all sorts of other things. I'm busy embroidering.

‘Frau mit Kindern’ is a wonderful example of Macke's talent as a draughtsman. He captures the fleeting scene with a quick hand: a woman dressed in contemporary clothes carries a baby in her arms. She is followed by a small child with a wide-brimmed hat, who is holding her long skirt. In the front right corner is an older child wearing shorts and a hat, extending the compositional diagonal formed by the woman's backward leaning posture towards the front. In the background, this diagonal is taken up by a ship's hull and a flagpole. Other people on the right in the background serve as a visual counterweight to the small child and harmoniously balance the composition. Although the drawing appears spontaneous at first glance, a closer look at the composition reveals Macke's precise planning and conscious drawing.

His painter friend Franz Marc, with whom August Macke worked in the artists' association “Der Blaue Reiter”, summarised the significance, skill and influence of Macke's art in his obituary for the artist who died in the First World War in 1914: Everything his skilful hands touched and whoever came close to him came to life, every material and most of all the people he magically drew under the spell of his ideas. How much we painters in Germany owe to him! What he sowed outwardly will still bear fruit and we, as his friends, want to ensure that it does not remain secret. (1)

1 Quoted from Ursula Heiderich, ‘August Macke. Gemälde - Werkverzeichnis’, Ostfildern 2008, p. 123.

About August Macke

August Macke's diverse artistic oeuvre comprises oil paintings, watercolours and drawings and is also characterized by a great variety of motifs.

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