August Macke

August Macke understood drawing not only as an exercise or for preparatory study, but rather as an independent means of artistic expression. In his drawings he captured everyday scenes and elaborated things he had seen into virtuoso compositions. The second is also the case in the drawing “The Three Women”. The long robes, the partial veiling, the clay pot that one of the women is carrying, as well as the palm tree and the striking architecture, all indicate that Macke is depicting a scene set in the Orient. In 1913 Macke’s trip to Tunisia was still ahead of him, so it can be assumed that this drawing is not an image of a real-life model. However, Macke’s great interest in the Orient is evidenced by numerous other drawings that find their way into his oeuvre, especially from the time of his visit to an ethnological exhibition on Oriental culture in 1910. The drawing also shows Macke’s involvement with the art of early Cubism. The ruffles of the women’s garments seem almost deconstructed, as we know, for example, from Robert Delaunay’s window series, with whom Macke was personally acquainted. However, Macke finds his own style here. The soft pencil used does not make the dissected garments appear angular, as would be typical of cubist art, but allows them to flow across the paper like cascades.

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