August Sander

The Philosopher

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’. The series began with photographs of rural farmers in the Westerwald region, in a group he called ‘The Farmer’. Sander did not include his subjects’ names, instead he used succinct titles to introduce them as representatives of a specific group. He systematically approached each subject with the same simple and straightforward style, occasionally including items of their trade or objects that alluded to social status or class. This image combines the traditional format of a knee-length seated portrait with the outdoor environment denoted by a softly focused landscape. Evenly lit and richly detailed, the subject seems to be turning towards the camera. Dressed formally and carefully groomed, the subject’s large weathered hands hold a pipe, and, with his face, are the focal points of the image.

see media
  • title:
    The Philosopher
  • accession number:
    AL00003
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Gelatin silver print on paper
  • date created:
    1913
  • measurements:
    25.80 x 19.00 cm (paper 43.90 x 33.90 cm; mount: 46.00 x 36.00 cm; frame: 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, Cologne / DACS 2018
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

August Sander

August Sander