Farming Family, 1912 (1912)
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’. Composed of over 500 images, Sander divided the opus into seven groups and over 45 portfolios according to the living environments, professions and estates of his subjects. The first group in the series is ‘The Farmer’, which contains twelve portfolios; this image appears in the portfolio, ‘The Farmer’s Family’. The photograph aligns chronologically with his early trips to the Westerwald region of Germany and probably originated as a commissioned family portrait on a special occasion. Sander has captured the generations of a beautifully attired family, standing proudly on their land. This image exemplifies Sander’s photographic skill in its even lighting, rich detail and depth of field. The inclusion of the family dog and the guitar may have been the choice of the patrons, adding a personal note to their photograph. Sander, particularly in his early portraits, likely encouraged his sitters to hols things of their own choosing.
- title: Farming Family, 1912
- accession number: AL00020
- artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Photograph
- materials: Black and white photograph on paper
- date created: 1912
- measurements: 19.10 x 26.00 cm (paper 44.00 x 34.00 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: © Photograph. Samml. / SK Stiftung Kultur - A. Sander Archiv, Köln /VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2016.
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.