August Sander

Touring Player, 1928-30 (1928 - 1930)

About this artwork

The fifth group of photographs in August Sander’s documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’ is titled 'The Artists'. It includes the portfolios ‘The Writer’, ‘The Actor’, ‘The Architect’, ‘The Sculptor’, ‘The Painter’, ‘The Composer’, and ‘The Performing Musician’. This is a photograph of an unknown touring player or entertainer is from the portfolio ‘The Actor’. As befits his profession, the actor is lit in a manner that suggests a stage setting, gesturing as though he is declaiming a speech. The darkness of his eye sockets and lips enhances the sense of theatricality. Sander aimed to capture the traits typical to the professional groups he was documenting, and the photographs he took of writers, architects and composers are more naturalistic in style. The sitters are usually shown against a plain white background and have neutral facial expressions.

see media
  • title: Touring Player, 1928-30
  • accession number: AL00083
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1928 - 1930
  • measurements: 25.70 x 17.70 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.