August Sander

Blacksmith(s), 1926 (1926)

About this artwork

In the group ‘The Skilled Tradesman’ belonging to his large project ‘People of the 20th Century’, Sander explores not only the traditional trades, but also the familial and social aspects of working life. This double portrait, included in the portfolio ‘The Worker – His Life and Work’, taken in Wuppertal, Germany, depicts two blacksmiths standing either side of a large anvil set on a masonry pedestal. Both men hold hammers, the elder letting his lie horizontally on the anvil while the younger leans lightly on a long-handled metal mallet. The vertical slant of the mallet is repeated in the wooden slat lying against the wall in the background, just as the surface edge of the anvil is repeated in the metal strip lying on the pedestal below.

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  • title: Blacksmith(s), 1926
  • accession number: AL00039
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1926
  • measurements: 25.90 x 19.90 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.