August Sander

Proletarian Intellectuals [Else Schuler, Tristan Rémy, Franz Wilhelm Seiwert, Gerd Arntz], about 1925 (about 1925)

About this artwork

This portrait illustrates the intellectual end of the spectrum of the portfolio ‘Working Types – Physical and Intellectual’, included in August Sander’s ‘People of the 20th Century’, in opposition to the physical worker depicted in ‘Varnisher’ (around 1930). Sander’s ambitious photographic project of over 500 images, divided into seven groups and over 45 portfolios, sought to present a typology of the German people, organised by estate, profession and living environment. The foursome in this portrait are arranged in a rather cramped pyramid-shaped composition, perhaps huddled together for ideological support. The sole woman, Else Schuler, looks sternly into the lens, her pale face and hands framed by her dark costume. While her posture is rigidly upright, her friends seem less static and more casually posed.

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  • title: Proletarian Intellectuals [Else Schuler, Tristan Rémy, Franz Wilhelm Seiwert, Gerd Arntz], about 1925
  • accession number: AL00040
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1925
  • measurements: 25.80 x 20.70 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.