August Sander

Corpus Christi Procession, 1925 (1925)

About this artwork

In his ambitious photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’, Sander aimed to chronicle rural and urban life in his native Germany. The project begins with a group entitled ‘The Farmers’ that is dedicated to people living from the land. The sixth group titled ‘The City’ illustrates elements of urban life, ranging from everyday occurrences to such particular social and cultural events as civic festivals. This photograph of a Corpus Christi procession was taken from the window of Sander’s studio in the Lindenthal district of Cologne, giving rise to its elevated perspective. In its subject and composition the picture relates closely to the theme of ‘Street and Street Life’, another portfolio in the same group. However, the mist enveloping many of the figures in the procession – perhaps emanating from censers traditionally swung during this procession – confers a ritualistic and mystical atmosphere that is not present in any other images in the portfolio.

see media
  • title: Corpus Christi Procession, 1925
  • accession number: AL00101
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1925
  • measurements: 19.00 x 25.90 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.