August Sander

Mädchen im Kirmeswagen [Girl in Fairground Caravan], 1926-32 (1926 - 1932)

About this artwork

In photographing the subjects of his ambitious project ‘People of the 20th Century’, August Sander took a methodical approach consistent with his quasi-sociological analysis of Germany at this time. He divided his portraits into seven main groups. This photograph is from the portfolio entitled ‘Travelling People – Fair and Circus’ within the project’s sixth group, ‘The City’. It presents an example of Sander’s supreme skill in creating a striking composition. The strong horizontals and verticals of the slatted wooden caravan and its window are complimented by the girl’s arm bent at a right angle as she reaches out to open the door, which echoes the opening of the window above her head. Her arm also acts as a device in creating depth, extending from the space inside the caravan to its outer surface in the foreground, while darkness behind the girl’s head throws her features into striking relief.

see media
  • title: Mädchen im Kirmeswagen [Girl in Fairground Caravan], 1926-32
  • accession number: AL00127
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • subject: Documentary
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1926 - 1932
  • measurements: 25.80 x 19.90 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.