August Sander

The Man of the Soil (1910)

About this artwork

This image is the first of the ‘Portfolio of Archetypes’, the prelude to the seven portfolios that make up ‘The Farmer’, the first group of August Sander’s opus of typological portraits, ‘People of the 20th Century’. The portfolio is a collection of early portraits that Sander shot in the Westerwald region of Germany and was compiled as a collection of essential human traits before Sander conceived of the wider work in the 1920s. In this image, the subject is seated outside, before a background of foliage, a walking stick held in his hands. The crook and title together communicate the essential characteristics of his life, his steady gaze meets that of the viewer. The image shares a title with the female portrait of 1912 which is included as the first of the female portraits in this portfolio.

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  • title: The Man of the Soil
  • accession number: AL00002
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1910
  • measurements: 25.80 x 18.90 cm (paper 43.90 x 33.90 cm; mount: 46.00 x 36.00 cm; frame: 48.20 x 38.20 x 3.20 cm)
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010
  • copyright: © Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2016.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

August Sander

August Sander

Considered one of the finest photographers of the twentieth century, Sander's bold style of portrait photography, as well as his typological approach, has had an enormous influence on modern photography. During his apprenticeship in several German studios and his time in his own studio in Austria, he developed his individual style. Then in 1910 Sander moved to Cologne and produced his first large group of photographs, which he later included in his concept "People of the 20th Century". This was created in the mid-1920s and compiled up until the 1950s. He photographed groups of people in his native Germany, classifying them according to their occupations and positions in society.