In April 1914, only months before his death, August Macke undertook his journey to Tunis together with Paul Klee and Louis Moilliet – a journey whose artistic fruits would later make it famous. Overwhelmed by the light and the colours of the North African landscape, Macke, Klee, and Moiliet began to draw and to paint watercolours on the morning of 8 April. Although Market in Tunis II […] is composed in a traditional manner, e.g. the figures and buildings are seen in linear perspective, the planar structure that has been constructed of coloured segments dominates and contradicts a perspectival view.
[…] Macke devotes his attention to naturalistic details – such as the thick seams of the camel-hair coats (jebba) worn by the two Arabs, seen from the rear in the foreground, or the floral growths on the roofs of the buildings – and he also includes episodic events, such as the figure in the middleground who is leaning on one of the columns supporting the balcony. […] Macke created a total of 38 watercolours and 110 drawings during the journey. The museum was able to purchase six of the Tunis watercolours from the artist's estate in 1921.