Lot 112
  • 112

AUGUST MACKE | Promenade an der Aare (Promande by the Aare)

70,000 - 100,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • August Macke
  • Promenade an der Aare (Promande by the Aare)
  • stamped with the estate stamp Kohle Z. 6/9 on the verso
  • charcoal on paper
  • 29.8 by 35cm., 11 7/8 by 13 3/4 in.
  • Executed in 1914.


Estate of the Artist
Elisabeth Erdmann-Macke (by descent from the above; sale: Kunstkabinett R.N. Ketterer, Stuttgart, 10th-12th May 1950, lot 1659)
Karl Ströher, Darmstadt (acquired in 1950)
Dr. Erika Pohl-Ströher, Switzerland (by descent from the above in 1977)
Thence by descent to the present owner in 2016


Basel, Kunsthalle, Paula Modersohn-Becker - August Macke, 1936, no. 171
Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum & Wiesbaden, Nassauischer Kunstverein, Kunst unserer Zeit, Privatsammlung Karl Ströher, 1954 - 1955, nos. 122 &143
Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Sammlung Karl Ströher, 2, 1965, no. 88, illustrated in the catalogue
Darmstadt, Hessisches Landsmuseum, Bildnerische Ausdrucksformen 1910-1960, Sammlung Karl Ströher, 1970, n.n. illustrated in the catalogue


Erika Pohl, Ursula Ströher and Gerhard Pohl (ed.), Karl Ströher, Sammler und Sammlung, Stuttgart, 1982, no. 334
Ursula Heiderich, August Macke, Zeichnungen Werkverzeichnis, Stuttgart, 1993, no. 2651

Catalogue Note

Promenade an der Aare is a striking example from Macke’s mature drawings, executed in 1914, shortly before his abrupt death fighting on the front in September that year. The present work shows Macke’s favourite theme: an atmospheric depiction of modern life, represented by figures at leisure. As a member of the Blaue Reiter group, Macke was compelled to paint modern-life subjects, setting his scenes in parks, zoos or water promenades. Compared to other Expressionist artists such as Kirchner, Macke’s representations of the city evoke a softer tone, displaying people who appear to be at ease with their environment. As Wieland Schmied commented: ‘August Macke was much more of a wanderer than Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and he walked through the streets of the city as if it were another form of nature. At first the city was nothing more than a nature ‘tamed’. He was especially interested in the vegetation, the parks, the zoo with its zebras, herons and parrots…August Macke always presents domesticated nature, the town is permeated by nature, reconciled with her, with an abundance of open spaces and bordered by parks’ (Wieland Schmied, German Art in the 20th Century (exhibition catalogue), Royal Academy of Arts, London 1985, p. 36).

The simplified angular forms rendered in Promenade an der Aare reflect the influence of the tenets of Cubism and the art of Robert Delaunay on Macke’s œuvre. The winding path of which the woman is sauntering down, past a figure who reads a newspaper on a bench, is deftly articulated; the verticals and diagonals that make up the angular trees lead the viewer’s gaze down to the town in the distance. A charming portrayal of a modern paradise, Promenade an der Aare, is an impressive combination of complex spatial construction and expressive application of medium and the overall sense of a time both fleeting and eternal.