August Sander

Philosopher [Max Scheler], about 1925 (about 1925)

About this artwork

This photograph is included in the portfolio entitled ‘The Scholar’ within the group ‘Classes and Professions’ in August Sander’s ‘People of the 20th Century’. It shares its title with two other photographs classified in the ‘Portfolio of Archetypes’, which precedes the seven groups making up Sander’s project. Sander intended that his portraits should be encountered not as character studies but as a typology, and therefore included the farmers of the Westerwald alongside such academics as the philosopher Scheler. Here he employs a traditional studio setting, framing his subject before a dark background out of which he looks with concentration into the lens. This photograph was an inspiration for two portraits of Scheler painted in 1926. One is by Richard Seewald, and the other by Otto Dix, himself included in the ‘People of the 20th Century’ in several images.

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  • title: Philosopher [Max Scheler], about 1925
  • accession number: AL00060
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1925
  • measurements: 25.80 x 18.80 cm (paper 43.90 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.