August Sander

Gentleman Farmer and Wife, 1924 (1924)

About this artwork

‘Farming Types’ is a portfolio in the group ‘The Farmer’, one of seven groups of August Sander’s documentation of different ‘types’ of German people, ‘People of the 20th Century’, compiled over five decades in rural and urban Germany. Sander organised the work of over 500 images by the living environment, estate and profession of the subjects and in this portfolio sought to represent the familial and social experiences of the farmer. This photograph, taken in Kriel by Cologne, shows a couple presenting a strikingly different version of the social and familial experience of farming documented in the Westerwald that he documented in the ‘Portfolio of Archetypes’. The title is crucial, because the couple’s modern evening attire and confident stance alone would not reveal their social and professional context. Her dress, though unadorned is cut in the modern fashion, leaving her arms and collarbones bare. They stand in a pebbled driveway and she holds a rose with a daintily extended finger. Clasping his hand with the other, her body slants towards him. They stand turned towards each other with their feet pointing inward, their relationship suggested by their body language. While she makes eye contact with the camera, he looks into the distance.

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  • title: Gentleman Farmer and Wife, 1924
  • accession number: AL00025
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1924
  • measurements: 26.00 x 18.30 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.