August Sander

Explosion Victim, c.1930 (about 1930)

About this artwork

From the mid-1920s until the end of his long life, August Sander photographed people in his native Germany, classifying them according to their social standing and professions in his monumental documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’. He divided his project into seven groups that are further sub-divided into more than 45 portfolios. This image is from the final group, ‘The Last People’, which presents figures confined to the margins of society: the ill, the disabled, the old and the insane. By giving visibility to these people, Sander aimed to draw attention to those who are normally invisible or ignored. Portraits such as this photograph of a victim of an explosion are given the same standing within the project as pictures of middle-class professionals and world-famous artists and architects. With his characteristically objective photographic style, Sander does not shy away from clearly illuminating the woman’s scarred face.

see media
  • title: Explosion Victim, c.1930
  • accession number: AL00118
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1930
  • measurements: 26.10 x 18.90 cm (paper 43.90 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.