August Sander

Farmer Sowing, 1952 (1952)

About this artwork

August Sander divided more than 500 images that made up his photographic opus ‘People of the 20th Century’ into seven groups and 45 portfolios. The group ‘The Farmer’ contains twelve portfolios and this image is included in the portfolio ‘The Farmer – His Life and Work’. As this photograph illustrates, Sander’s work is situated between the portrait photography of the nineteenth century and the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) of the twentieth century. The farmer’s gesture is the subject of the photograph and represents a physically demanding, highly active working day. The farmer leans back, his right knee bent and head crooked, arm extended to sow his seed. The image has a notable depth of field, extending beyond the freshly ploughed earth, by hedgerows and trees into the horizon. Shot in 1952, the image emphasises the return to traditional farming methods in Germany of immediate post-war years, though the lack of machinery.

see media
  • title: Farmer Sowing, 1952
  • accession number: AL00022
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1952
  • measurements: 26.00 x 20.40 cm (paper 44.00 x 33.90 cm; mount: 46.00 x 36.00 cm) (framed: 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.