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.
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