August Sander

Writer and Theatre Critic [Theodor Haerten], 1928 (1928)

About this artwork

August Sander’s monumental project ‘People of the 20th Century’ has been described as a work of cultural history and sociology executed in the medium of photography. Taking a methodological approach, Sander classified more than 500 photographs into seven groups that represent the social classes and types of modern German society. This portrait of the writer and theatre critic Theodor Haerten is included in portfolio ‘The Writer’ and the fifth group entitled ‘The Artists’. Sander placed Haerten before a plain white background to enable the details of his clothes, features and expression to stand out sharply. This objective tactic allowed the writer’s sensitivity to emerge in his awkward pose and the nervous gesture of clasping his hands on his lap.

see media
  • title: Writer and Theatre Critic [Theodor Haerten], 1928
  • accession number: AL00081
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1928
  • measurements: 25.80 x 17.90 cm (paper 43.80 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.