August Sander

Three Siblings, c.1928-30 (about 1928 - 1930)

About this artwork

August Sander began his photographic career as a portraitist, conceiving his monumental documentary project, ‘People of the 20th Century’, in the mid-1920s. His ambition to create a typology of the German people categorized according to their estate, profession and living environment resulted in more than five hundred photographs, divided into seven groups, and over forty-five portfolios. Although Sander continued working on the project until his death in 1964, the collection was never finalized, and this photograph of three siblings, probably taken in the Westerwald, may have been intended for inclusion in the group ‘The Farmer’ alongside such portraits as ‘Farm Children’ (about 1913) and ‘Three Generations of the Family’ (1912). Dressed in their best clothes, the children stand incongruously on the side of a country road, formally posed and looking seriously at the photographer.

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  • title: Three Siblings, c.1928-30
  • accession number: AL00165
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1928 - 1930
  • measurements: 25.70 x 19.00 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.