August Sander

Grandmother and Granddaughter, 1911-14 (1911 - 1914)

About this artwork

August Sander’s ambition to create a photographic documentation of all ‘types’ of German people resulted in the collection ‘The People of the 20th Century’. Composed of over 500 images, Sander divided the opus into seven groups and over 45 portfolios according to the living environments, professions and estates of his subjects. The first group in the series is ‘The Farmer’, which contains twelve portfolios; this image appears in the portfolio, ‘The Farmer’s Child and the Mother’. Sander’s professional ambition extended beyond the creation of individual portraits to the compilation of a unified series that would function as a social document of its time, valuable to historians and future audiences. As the portfolio’s title implies, the focus is the exploration of the familial life of the rural population, represented here by a grandmother and granddaughter posing formally before a flowered wallpaper and wooden door. The sparseness of the background and absence of props focus the viewer’s attention entirely on woman and child and their earnest gaze.

see media
  • title: Grandmother and Granddaughter, 1911-14
  • accession number: AL00141
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: 1911 - 1914
  • measurements: 25.80 x 19.00 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.