August Sander

Herbalist, 1929 (1929)

About this artwork

August Sander included this portrait of a herbalist alongside such practitioners of orthodox medicine as ‘The Doctor’ (1929) in his portfolio entitled ‘The Doctor and the Pharmacist’ within the group ‘Classes and Professions’ in his photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’. Considered in this context, there are several striking differences. The herbalist’s seated posture, leaning slightly back with his hands folded loosely over the crook of a walking stick, conveys a more casual effect than the standing pose of the doctor, who is given authority by his laboratory setting and whose name is included in his portrait title. By contrast, the anonymous herbalist is photographed before a grey wall, outside his working environment, without the tools of his trade.

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  • title: Herbalist, 1929
  • accession number: AL00124
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1929
  • measurements: 25.60 x 16.70 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.