August Macke (January 3, 1887 – September 26, 1914) was a German Expressionist painter and one of the leading members of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). Born in Meschede, Westphalia, Macke was the only son of a building contractor and amateur artist. He studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and took evening classes under Fritz Helmut Ehmke. He also worked as a stage and costume designer at the Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf. Macke lived most of his creative life in Bonn, with periods spent at Lake Thun in Switzerland and various trips to Paris, Italy, the Netherlands, and Tunisia. In Paris, he was profoundly influenced by the work of the Impressionists.

Macke’s cultural impact is significant. He lived during a particularly active time for German art, witnessing the development of the main German Expressionist movements as well as the arrival of the successive avant-garde movements forming in the rest of Europe. His work can be considered as Expressionism and also as part of Fauvism. His paintings primarily express feelings and moods rather than reproducing objective reality, usually distorting color and form. This approach had a profound influence on the Der Blaue Reiter group and the German Expressionism movement, making Macke a prominent figure in these circles. His innovative use of color and form continues to inspire artists today.