LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur

August Macke

August Macke (1887–1914), Sunny Path, 1913, Oil on cardboard, 50 x 30 cm, Inv. no. 1580 LM, 1986 Acquired with the financial support of the German Federal State of North-Rhine Westphalia © LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur

August Macke (1887–1914), Sunny Path, 1913

In German crossword puzzles the solution to the question “warm light in late summer” is always “October sun”. This could easily be a description of what has been captured here, in an exceptional manner, in saturated yellows, since from October 1913 August Macke was staying at the Thunersee, the lake which is hinted at in the distance by the use of an intense blue.

Autumn is approaching, and not only the trees are clad in green, brown and red. In the foreground a couple leans against a railing, observing the bank of the lake quietly together. A woman holding a small boy by the hand approaches the pair. The four walkers appear to have entered the momentary scene accidentally. Whilst their bodies and faces are merely sketched, their wealthy elegance nonetheless remains apparent.

The expressive power infusing a play of colour that is full of contrast, endows the picture with a particular uniqueness. In Paris in 1912, Macke the young Expressionist, became acquainted with Robert Delaunay and his theory of colour, adapting it here for his own purposes. This is one of the reasons why today August Macke counts amongst the most exceptional painters of Modern Art.