August Sander

Soldat [Soldier], about 1940 (about 1940)

About this artwork

For over fifty years, August Sander photographed individuals and groups of people in his native Germany, classifying them according to their occupations and positions in society in an ambitious documentary project entitled ‘People of the 20th Century’. In order to present an accurate survey of society at the time, Sander portrayed those who wore Nazi uniforms as well as those who were persecuted by them. This photograph was taken shortly after the beginning of World War II and shows a fresh-faced young German soldier at the edge of a village in winter. Although a half-smile plays on his lips, his eyes shining out from beneath the deep shadows of his helmet brim evoke a poignant sadness at the horrors still to come. This photograph is included in the portfolio entitled ‘The Judge and the Attorney’ within the group ‘Classes and Professions’ Sander’s project.

see media
  • title: Soldat [Soldier], about 1940
  • accession number: AL00067
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • subject: Documentary
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1940
  • measurements: 25.90 x 19.00 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.