August Macke was born in Meschede, Germany. His father, August Friedrich Hermann Macke (1845-1904), was a building contractor and his mother, Maria Florentine, née Adolph, (1848-1922), came from a farming family in Germany's Sauerland region. The family lived at Brüsseler Straße until August was 13. He then lived most of his creative life in Bonn, with the exception of a few periods spent at Lake Thun in Switzerland and various trips to Paris, Italy, Holland and Tunisia. In Paris, where he traveled for the first time in 1907, Macke saw the work of the Impressionists, and shortly after he went to Berlin and spent a few months in Lovis Corinth's studio.
Painter, watercolorist, and decorative artist. After befriending Franz Marc and Vasily Kandinsky, exhibited at both Blaue Reiter exhibitions in 1912 and was included in the group's almanac of 1912, but thereafter distanced himself from Kandinsky's metaphysical approach to abstraction. Was instead increasingly influenced by Robert Delaunay's use of fractured rays of color, and applied it to his luminous scenes of elegant urban flaneurs window-shopping and strolling through parks. Also designed carpets and tapestries and made pottery and glass paintings. In April 1914 traveled with Paul Klee and Swiss painter Louis Moilliet to Tunisia, where he sketched and made a series of glowing watercolors. Mobilized during first week of war; killed in action seven weeks later.
His style was formed within the mode of French Impressionism and Post-impressionism and later went through a Fauve period. In 1909 he married Elizabeth Gerhardt. In 1910, through his friendship with Franz Marc, Macke met Kandinsky and for a while shared the non-objective aesthetic and the mystical and symbolic interests of Der Blaue Reiter.