August Sander

German (1874 - 1964)
August Sander Young Farmers 1914 (printed 1996) © Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archiv, Cologne / DACS 2018


Born 1874
Died 1964
Nationality German
Birth place Herdorf
Death place Colonia

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.

Glossary terms

  • A style of photographs that presents straightforward records of events, people and places, often recording important historical or political moments.

  • This term usually refers to a standing human figure carrying its weight on one leg so that the opposite hip rises to produce a relaxed curve in the body, although it can be used more generally to describe any twisted figure. It is associated with Renaissance sculptors who looked back to Ancient Greek and Roman models for inspiration.