August Sander

Painter [Marta Hegemann], about 1925 (about 1925)

About this artwork

August Sander’s title defines Marta Hegemann by her profession in a close frontal portrait, in contrast with the more distanced double portrait ‘Painter Couple [Marta Hegemann und Anton Räderscheidt]’ (about 1925). Both are included in the third group entitled ‘The Woman’ in his documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’, which sought to establish a typology of the German people classified according to their professions, estates and living environments. Hegemann’s paintings often featured female figures surrounded by birds and butterflies rendered in simplified forms, expressing their volume rather than their textural detail. Here she has included her motifs in Sander’s portrait of her, painting two birds – one recognizably a dove – a star, a heart, waves (or perhaps the path of the birds’ wings) and a cross on her face, using her skin as an unconventional canvas.

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  • title: Painter [Marta Hegemann], about 1925
  • accession number: AL00055
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1925
  • measurements: 25.80 x 19.80 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.