August Sander

Self-Portrait, 1925 (1925)

About this artwork

August Sander included this self-portrait from 1925 in the portfolio entitled ‘Types and Figures of the City’ within his photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’. Sander has explained that the self-portrait stands at the beginning of his idea for his monumental work in which he aimed to document the social structures and professional classes in his native Germany at that time. ‘Types and Figures of the City’, from the group ‘The City’, comprises a portfolio of portraits loosely unified through their representation of figures who move on the fringes of society. The people depicted range from beggars and homeless people to artists and bohemians. By including his portrait in this portfolio Sander suggests that he considered himself to have something of their outsider status.

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  • title: Self-Portrait, 1925
  • accession number: AL00121
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • subject: Self-portrait
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1925
  • measurements: 25.80 x 19.50 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.