August Sander

Non-Commissioned Officer, about 1944 (about 1944)

About this artwork

This photograph is included in the portfolio entitled ‘The Soldier’ within the group ‘Classes and Professions’ in August Sander’s photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’. The portfolio includes photographs that he shot in the field during World War I, when he was deployed as a medical orderly, alongside portraits from World War II. He divided his photographic opus of more 500 images into seven groups, made up of over 45 portfolios classified according to the estates, professions and living environments of the German people. The setting of this portrait of a non-commissioned officer towards the end of World War II is a bourgeois interior, as is indicated by the two paintings visible on the patterned wallpaper behind him. The nameless officer, dressed fittingly in his uniform, looks intelligently back at the camera. The scarf knotted around his throat introduces a personal touch, evoking a sense of the individual as a single but exemplary representative of a much larger social group.

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  • title: Non-Commissioned Officer, about 1944
  • accession number: AL00068
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1944
  • measurements: 25.80 x 19.10 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.