Auction 1121, Modern Art - Autumn 2018, 30.11.2018, 17:00, Cologne Lot 212

August Macke, Wagen in silberner Straße

August Macke, Wagen in silberner Straße, 1913, Auction 1121 Modern Art - Autumn 2018, Lot 212

August Macke

Meschede 1887 - 1914 Perthes-les-Hurlus

Wagen in silberner Straße


Watercolour, gouache, coloured India ink and silver bronze on thin Japan laid paper. 37.3 x 26.6 cm. Framed under glass. On a supplementary sheet stamped "Nachlass August Macke" (Lugt 1775b), therein numbered, titled and dated "F.Z. 37 Wagen in silberner Strasse 1913" in brown ink and the confirmation of the inclusion in the catalogue raisonné from the artist's son, Dr. Wolfgang Macke, Bonn, 14 Jan.1952. - On the verso, remnants of a former paper mounting minimally pushing through to recto in the left corners, unobtrusive minor fold marks in the right margin.

Heiderich Nachtrag 329 a; Heiderich Zeichnungen 2198; Vriesen 1957, 309 (erroneous illus.)


Galerie Vömel, Düsseldorf (1953); Collection Dr. Eduard Houdremont, Essen (1957); Private possession, Berlin


Bonn 1918 (Museum Villa Obernier - Gesellschaft für Literatur und Kunst. Dramatischer Verein), August Macke; New York 1952 (Galerie Gerson), cat. no. 13 (Wagon on the road?); Bielefeld 1957 (Städtisches Kunsthaus), August Macke-Aquarelle, p. 38 with illus. (not exhibited)

In November 1910 August Macke, his wife Elisabeth and their son Walter returned to Bonn after their honeymoon in Paris and an extended stay at Tegernsee; they initially lived with her parents until they were able to move into the house in Bornheimer Straße, where a studio had been added. “The studio”, recounts Elisabeth Macke in the memoirs she wrote about her husband, “had large windows on three sides and a large sunlight above it. You could see a long way out into the area, up Ringstraße almost to Cölner Chaussee, with the tower of the insane asylum. It was a busy street that offered new images every day. [...] The view from the studio window to St Mary's Church, surrounded by suburban buildings, presented itself in a different spirit each day.” (Elisabeth Erdmann-Macke, Erinnerungen an August Macke, Frankfurt a. M. 1987, p. 213).

With this subtle, almost “light-footed” watercolour on transparent Japan paper, the artist has sketched a fictive view out of his studio window for us and mixed it together with the view of the street at night seen over his garden fence: on the left in the background, the neo-Gothic tower of St Mary's Church stands opposite the factory chimney, the buildings and the facades. A gas lantern and the silvery rays of light from the full moon high up in the sky brightly illuminate the scene with an open landau rushing past. Macke has applied his unmodulated, luminous colours with forceful brushstrokes alongside one another, like contour lines, and described the urban motif with a certain irony. August Macke loves the enigmatic, humorous representation of sometimes Romantically bizarre encounters like the late-night one here. Thus, for example, the artist marks the shadows cast by the horses' legs with nothing more than two quickly placed X's.

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