August Sander

Mother and Son, 1925-30 (1925 - 1930)

About this artwork

The third group in August Sander’s documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’ is dedicated to the representation of ‘The Woman’. This photograph of a mother and son revisits the theme of familial generations, which Sander also addresses in the group ‘The Farmer’ in such images as ‘Three Generations of the Family’ (1912). The subjects of this portrait – an aged mother and her adult son – provide a striking departure from the images of young mothers and children that populate the portfolio ‘Woman and Child’, from which this photograph comes. Here, the mother’s body leans away from her son and the camera, while he leans towards her and into the picture frame. Despite the difference in their age and sex, the similarities in their shared features are unmistakable, and emphasised by the mirroring shapes of their tilted heads and the spectacles they both wear.

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  • title: Mother and Son, 1925-30
  • accession number: AL00046
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1925 - 1930
  • measurements: 25.80 x 19.50 cm (paper 43.90 x 33.90 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.