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August Macke began his studies in Düsseldorf in 1904 at the Kunstakademie. However he was truly inspired by his evening courses with printmaker Fritz Helmuth Ehmcke at the Kunstgewerbeschule. In 1905, Macke traveled to Florence and in 1906 he traveled to the Netherlands, Belgium and London. Upon his return to Germany in 1906, he quit school. Instead, he took a trip to Paris where he encountered Impressionism. In the autumn of 1907, he moved to Berlin to join the studio of Lovis Corinth. Corinth's constructive criticism did not suit Macke's temperament nor did the city's oppressive atmosphere. Therefore, he returned to Bonn in 1908.
His future wife's family supported his artistic endeavors which included another trip to Italy and Paris where he first came into contact with the paintings of Cézanne at Ambroise Vollard's gallery. Her uncle, Bernhard Koehler, became an important patron for all Der Blaue Reiter artists.
In 1910, Macke moved to Tegernsee near Munich where he met Franz Marc with whom he joined the Neue Künstlervereinigung and then Der Blaue Reiter. From 1911-14, he exhibited regularly in Munich, Cologne, Dresden, at the Sturm Gallery in Berlin and Moscow. His bold use of color came from his contact with the School of Paris. In 1912, Macke, Marc and Klee made a pilgrimage to visit Robert Delaunay in Paris. In 1914, he traveled to Tunis with Paul Klee producing a series of vivid watercolors.
Tragically, he was killed in action on September 26, 1914.
Macke's most distinguished works date from 1912-14 when he most perfectly combined his French influences with Der Blaue Reiter's Expressionist style. He was equally active in the decorative arts and printmaking occupied a very minor position among all of his artistic endeavors. He produced only one woodcut in 1907 and two linocuts in 1913, therefore prints by Macke are extremely rare.