August Sander

Composer [Paul Hindemith], c.1925 (about 1925)

About this artwork

The subject of this portrait, the composer Paul Hindemith (1895–1963), is one of the most significant representatives of twentieth-century avant-garde music. After the debut performance of a selection of Hindemith’s compositions at the first ‘Donaueschinger Festival’ in 1921, he was widely celebrated as Europe’s leading modern musician. Yet, despite his musical success, this photograph from the mid-1920s portrays Hindemith in an uncompromisingly down-to-earth fashion. The composer’s crumpled shirt, creased suit and the hint of stubble on his chin evoke a creative genius preoccupied more by his work than his appearance. The photograph belongs to the portfolio ‘The Composer’ group entitled ‘The Artists’ within August Sander’s documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’. Its modest simplicity suggests that Sander assigned to prominent figures the same standing as less celebrated representatives of the arts.

see media
  • title: Composer [Paul Hindemith], c.1925
  • accession number: AL00126
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1925
  • measurements: 25.90 x 18.10 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.