August Sander

The Sage, 1913 (1913)

About this artwork

August Sander’s ambition to create a photographic documentation of all ‘types’ of German people resulted in the collection ‘The People of the 20th Century’. He divided his project into seven groups and the series began with a group he called ‘The Farmer’; from which this image appears as part of the sub-group, ‘The Portfolio of Archetypes’. The majority of photographs that make up that sub-group originated in commissioned work in the Westerwald region of Germany between 1910 and 1914. The patrons and subjects of these photographs often chose to be photographed at home. Here the woman is enveloped by her formal parlour, indicated by fin de siècle wallpaper, a picture frame and a heavy wooden cupboard. The woman wears her best dress and a bonnet tied under her chin by a silken bow, echoed in the bow around her waist.

see media
  • title: The Sage, 1913
  • accession number: AL00009
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1913
  • measurements: 25.90 x 19.00 cm (paper 43.9 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.