August Sander

Farmhands, 1929 (1929)

About this artwork

This photograph shows three men standing in the doorframe of a working building with straw scattered at their feet. Included in the portfolio ‘The Worker – His Life and Work’, the image belongs to the group ‘The Skilled Tradesman’ in August Sander’s comprehensive collection ‘People of the 20th Century’. Sander conceived of his ambition to compile a typology of the German people in the 1920s, continuing to add to and amend the collection of over 500 photographs until his death in 1964. In this portfolio Sander explored the social aspects of working life. Emerging from the darkness behind him, the central figure is the most striking; taller than his companions, he leans diagonally across the doorway, holding a pipe between his lips and squinting his eyes in the sunlight.

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  • title: Farmhands, 1929
  • accession number: AL00037
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1929
  • measurements: 25.90 x 19.10 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.