August Sander

Mother and daughter (Helene Abelen with Daughter Josepha) c.1926 (about 1926)

About this artwork

This photograph belongs to the portfolio entitled ‘Mother and Child’ within the larger group ‘The Woman’ in August Sander’s documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’. It is one of many photographs that Sander took of Helen Abelen between 1926 and 1927 in a variety of poses and locations, including ‘The Painter’s Wife’ (around 1926) in which she appears alone. Here she sits on the floor in her living room with her daughter below a group of paintings that are just visible on the wall behind. Her serious expression contrasts strongly with the mischief in her single portrait as ‘The Painter’s Wife’, reflecting her willing collaboration with Sander’s ambition to produce typologies rather than character studies. Well-lit in full daylight, Helene and Josepha appear in crisp focus.

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  • title: Mother and daughter (Helene Abelen with Daughter Josepha) c.1926
  • accession number: AL00145
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1926
  • measurements: 25.80 x 19.80 cm (paper 43.90 x 33.90 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.