August Sander

Sisters and Brother, 1924 (1924)

About this artwork

August Sander included this portrait of three sisters and their brother in the portfolio entitled ‘The Family’, classified in the group ‘The Woman’ in his documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’. It is one of two photographs included in this group that show only siblings, and thus the members of a single generation in a family. Here Sander arranged the three sisters and their brother alternating in front and behind, so that they frame the sister who sits at the lowest level and looks directly ahead. Flanking her on either side, her two siblings’ faces turn at slight angles towards her, although their look is aimed equally at the camera. On the far left side, the third sister looks diagonally across the picture plane creating a dynamic compositional tension. Dressed formally in dark garments, but lacking jewellery or decoration, the siblings offer no narrative to the viewer beyond their shared facial features.

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  • title: Sisters and Brother, 1924
  • accession number: AL00049
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1924
  • measurements: 16.30 x 25.10 cm (paper 43.80 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.