August Sander

Young Boy on a Toy Horse, c.1922-25 (about 1922 - 1925)

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, both travelling through south-western Germany and working in his studio in Cologne. Comprising over five hundred images, classified into seven groups and more than forty-five portfolios according to their subjects’ professions, classes and living environments, the project was never completed. This picture may have been intended for inclusion in the group ‘The Woman’ (which features several images of children) and seems related to ‘Middle-Class Child’ (about 1925). The little boy’s smart sailor suit and decorated wooden rocking horse suggest that he too comes from a middle-class family, while the overgrown garden with fruit trees behind him offsets the somewhat fierce expression on his face and the commanding hand he is raising to his hip.

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  • title: Young Boy on a Toy Horse, c.1922-25
  • accession number: AL00171
  • artist: August SanderGerman (1874 - 1964)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Embossed paper in frame
  • date created: about 1922 - 1925
  • measurements: 25.80 x 20.00 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.