August Sander

Painter [Robert Seuffert], 1928 (1928)

About this artwork

August Sander’s ambitious documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’ comprises seven groups of photographs that represent the social classes and types of modern German society. One of these groups entitled ‘The Artists’ includes the portfolios ‘The Writer’, ‘The Actor’, ‘The Architect’, ‘The Sculptor’, ‘The Painter’, ‘The Composer’, and ‘The Performing Musician’. The identification of this group within the project suggests that Sander attributed a special role to those involved in the arts in modern society. This portrait shows the painter Robert Seuffert (1874–1946) who taught at the Cologne School of Applied Arts during 1912–36. The photograph was taken in Sander’s studio. Its clear lighting and sharp focus are characteristic of Sander’s objective approach to photography, through which he aimed to capture the individual details as well as the typical attributes of his subjects. Sander included this photograph in the portfolio ‘The Painter’ from the group ‘The Artists’.

see media
  • title: Painter [Robert Seuffert], 1928
  • accession number: AL00089
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1928
  • measurements: 25.80 x 18.80 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.