Two Girlfriends
  • August Macke
  • Meschede 1887 - 1914 Perthes-les-Hurlus / France
  • Two Girlfriends, ca. 1912
  • Pencil on transparent paper, mounted on board
  • estate stamp verso on the mount (Lugt suppl. 1775b), not in Heiderich
  • 320 × 272 mm

August Macke grew up in Bonn and Cologne. An early enthusiasm for Arnold Böcklin’s art motivated him so much that he enrolled in the Academy in Düsseldorf at the mere age of 17. Simultaneously, he attended courses at the School of Applied Arts and received, even while a student there, his first commissions for stage sets and costume designs for the renowned city theatre. Macke became familiar with Impressionism during a trip to Paris in 1907, which made a lasting impression on his work henceforth.

Macke attended Lovis Corinth’s (1858-1925) painting school in Berlin for only a short time, returning instead to Bonn, starting a family, and establishing his artistic presence in the city by founding his own atelier. His first meeting with Franz Marc, with whom he thereafter formed a close personal as well as collegial friendship, also occurred during this time. Macke was rather hesitant to join the artists’ group Der Blaue Reiter in Munich, however.

This sheet presents Macke’s mature drawing style. The isolation of both girls, pressed up against one another, on the otherwise empty paper emphasizes the figures’ intensity. A stylistically and thematically comparable work in the collection of the State Museum in Münster dates to 1912; it shows three girls with similar half-length dresses and summer hats with bows1.

  1. August Macke: Three girls with hats, 1912 pencil on paper, 139 x 86 mm, Westfälisches Landesmuseum, Münster inv. no. 77-173 / 27