August Sander

Brothers, c.1920 (about 1920)

About this artwork

August Sander conceived his monumental documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’ in the mid-1920s, after developing a career as a portrait photographer based in studios in Linz and Cologne, and subsequently travelling through south-western Germany for commissions. Aiming to create a typology of the German people categorized by their estates, professions and living environments, he compiled over 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. Brothers almost certainly originated in the Westerwald region that is represented in the project’s first group ‘The Farmer’, and resonates with such images as ‘Farm Children’ (about 1913), ‘Widow with her Sons’ (about 1921) and ‘Widower’ (1914). Wearing matching suits, and with their hair closely cropped, the two boys share a striking family resemblance that extends from their features to their poses and expressions.

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  • title: Brothers, c.1920
  • accession number: AL00167
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1920
  • measurements: 25.70 x 18.90 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.