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August Macke

Encamped Oriental Horsemen (after Guys)

oil and Indian ink on wood
29,5 x 39,5 cm / 11 5/8 x 15 1/2 in.
verso with stamp of the estate, inscribed 'Vr. 163 b', sowie 'August Macke 1910 / Lagernde Orientalische Reiter (nach Constantin Guys)'

August Macke and Elisabeth Gerhardt were married in 1909. Their honeymoon took them to Paris. Elisabeth wrote in her Memories: „. . .then in the Musée Carnavalet, where August asked to see the large portfolios with drawings and watercolours by Constantin Guys which nobody was interested in at the time and they were stored very primitively. They were seen more as contemporary historical documents than as art, even though they have of a wonderful, genial verve.“ Constantin Guys (1802-1892) had been a war correspondent and draughtsman in the Crimean war, creating watercolours and illustrations for British and French newspapers. Later, he settled in Paris and in his watercolours recorded society life. Elisabeth and August established their first home on Lake Tegernsee in Bavaria in October, 1909. In the summer of 1910, Elisabeth‘s brother Walter Gerhardt came to visit. Macke created the portrait „Walter Gerhardt, reading in the armchair“. He painted it on a wood board, on the other side of which he had either painted or would paint "Encamped Oriental Horsemen (after Guys)". Macke presented his brother-in-law with the double-sided painting. Walter Gerhardt kept it until his death in 1958. Only later was the wooden board split and the two sides were distributed to different members of the family.

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