August Sander

Painter [Gottfried Brockmann], 1924 (1924)

About this artwork

The painters and sculptors that August Sander photographed for the portfolio ‘The Painter’ from the group entitled ‘The Artists’ within his documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’ were often friends and acquaintances who moved in the avant-garde circles of Cologne. Sander was particularly close to the artists’ collaborative known as the Cologne Progressives. This portrait shows the painter Gottfried Brockmann (1903–83) who was one of the members of the group. The painting that occupies the left half of the image is characteristic of the objective language of graphic realism developed by the painters of the Progressives. Most of the photographs that Sander took of artists comply with a more conventional portrait format: the subjects are shown standing or seated in three-quarter length before a neutral background. By contrast, this image appears to be set in Brockmann’s studio. The painter is presented beside his work, holding his paintbrushes to his body like a fan that spreads outwards to encounter the woman walking towards him on the canvas.

see media
  • title: Painter [Gottfried Brockmann], 1924
  • accession number: AL00088
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1924
  • measurements: 36.00 x 19.00 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.