August Sander

Grand Duke [Ernst Ludwig von Hessen und bie Rhein], about 1930 (about 1930)

About this artwork

August Sander usually omitted his subjects’ names in his photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’, which he intended not as a collection of character studies but as a typology of the German people during his life time. This seated portrait showing a Grand Duke in profile is one of only five photographs making up the portfolio ‘The Aristocrat’ from the group ‘Classes and Professions’. In Sander’s project, composed of more than 500 photographs divided into seven groups, this is by far the smallest of the over 45 portfolios, which usually include at least 12 photographs. Dressed in black tie with a large ring gleaming on his little finger, the Grand Duke cuts an imposing figure, framed by the geometric relief of the white wooden panelling behind him in sharp contrast to his dark suit.

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  • title: Grand Duke [Ernst Ludwig von Hessen und bie Rhein], about 1930
  • accession number: AL00071
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1930
  • measurements: 25.80 x 19.30 cm (paper 44.00 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.