August Sander

Peddler, 1930 (1930)

About this artwork

August Sander took a methodical approach in photographing the subjects of his ambitious project ‘People of the 20th Century’, which was based on a quasi-sociological analysis of his native Germany. He classified over 500 photographs into seven groups representing the social and professional classes of the rapidly modernising nation. This portrait of a peddler is from the portfolio entitled ‘People Who Came to My Door’ within the sixth group, ‘The City’. The man holds up a box filled with such everyday consumer products as postcards, stamps and shoe polish. His pose – cap in hand – expresses the formal politeness of a salesman anxious to ingratiate himself into the goodwill of those who open their doors to him in the hope that they will buy something from his box of goods.

see media
  • title: Peddler, 1930
  • accession number: AL00109
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1930
  • measurements: 25.90 x 18.70 cm (paper 43.90 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.