August Sander

Pastor’s Wife, about 1920 (about 1920)

About this artwork

The portfolio entitled ‘The Clergyman’ from the group ‘Classes and Professions’ in August Sander’s major project ‘The People of the 20th Century’ comprises not only portraits of clergy from both denominations, but photographs of members of the Protestant clergyman’s families, such as this pastor’s wife. Though the wide-ranging work includes photographs from the 1910s, Sander conceived of his ambition to record a representative typology of the German people, categorised by their estates, professions and environments, in the 1920s and included many photographs taken prior to its conception. Here the pastor’s wife is dressed simply sits in front of a grey background on a highly polished wooden chair. As befits her station, her pose is upright, and her right hand is held decorously in her left. Her direct gaze and serene smile evoke a life-time of piety and spiritual grace.

see media
  • title: Pastor’s Wife, about 1920
  • accession number: AL00073
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1920
  • measurements: 25.80 x 19.80 cm (paper 43.80 x 33.80 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.