August Sander

Young Woman, 1929 (1929)

About this artwork

The indoor setting and soft focus in this glamorous portrait suggest that it may have originated as a commissioned work in August Sander’s Cologne studio, before he included it in the portfolio entitled ‘The Elegant Woman’, within the third group ‘The Woman’ in his photographic opus ‘People of the 20th Century’. Here, the gentle natural light and the camera’s soft focus draw a visual parallel between the fine fabric of the young woman’s full skirt, falling in delicate folds over her legs and spilling over the edges of her chair, and her luminous skin. Sander’s ambitious project, left incomplete at the time of his death, comprises more than 500 images divided into seven groups and over 45 portfolios, through which he hoped to create a typology of the German people.

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  • title: Young Woman, 1929
  • accession number: AL00051
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1929
  • measurements: 25.80 x 17.90 cm (paper 44.00 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.