August Sander

Farming Couple, about 1932 (about 1932)

About this artwork

The portfolio ‘Farming Types’ is the fourth in the group ‘The Farmer’, one of seven subsections of August Sander’s ‘People of the 20th Century’. Sander photographed the rural German population for five decades, working initially on commission and later shooting additions of his own choosing for this series; which was conceived in the 1920s as a typology. This photograph shows a married couple posing in the doorway of their house in an apparent moment of respite from their work. The sunlight picks out the texture of the couple’s attire of rough spun cloth offset by the regular smooth brickwork. Sander sought always to capture the essential, universal human characteristics of his subject and by omitting names and composing succinct titles, avoided creating images that could be read as clichés or stereotypes.

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  • title: Farming Couple, about 1932
  • accession number: AL00024
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1932
  • measurements: 26.20 x 18.70 cm (paper 44.00 x 34.00 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.