On initial inspection Woman in a Green Jacket seems to be a standard depiction of several figures in a landscape scene. It is only on further study that one realises how the artist has carefully placed everything in pairs, other than the main woman herself. The other figures are paired up, as even are the trees which help to frame the piece. She is consciously depicted as lonely, with her part of the canvas also significantly darker, as she stands in the shadows of the trees above her.
In the background we see a blue shoreline appear from out of the forest, giving a much brighter contrast against the darker foreground. The lady nearest us looks down to the ground, perhaps in sadness, or perhaps instead in contemplation. It is hard to be sure either way. There is a small chance that some may have been able to decipher the precise location in which this painting was created - judging from the places in which this artist is known to have worked, the two small towns which can be made out in the painting, plus also looking as deeply as the types of trees that we see here and where they would have grown at that time. As the painting is dated to 1913, we can track the work down to a specific part of August Macke's life, too.
The abstract style of August Macke would always provide particularly minimal detail in his portraits. He was influenced by a variety of different movements during his lifetime, including Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Expressionism. His paintings are perhaps most in tune with Fauvism, where the use of colour overrides all other concerns. This brightness appears in all of his major works and because his career was cut short so young, he never had an opportunity to develop different approaches over time.
Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany
Frau in Einer Grünen Jacke, to give the painting it's original German title, can now be found at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany. This prestigious institution is certainly one of the finest art venues in the whole country and ranks amongst the best across Europe. Their permanent collection is deep in numbers and quality, with one of the highlights being a plethora of Picasso drawings, as well as hundreds of further artworks by this genius in other mediums.
There is a broad range of work to be found here, covering mainly artists from the last two centuries. Besides Picasso you will also find Russian Avant-Garde (Kasimir Malevich, Natalia Goncharova and Alexander Rodchenko) and American Pop-art artists here. There are also several other German Expressionists featured here, besides just Macke himself. Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, August Macke, Otto Mueller, plus Marc Chagall and Otto Dix all feature, making this a highly prized selection of work which has been bequethed by a small number of high profile collectors during the 20th century.