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Handlanger [Bricklayer], 1928
© Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2015

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Handlanger [Bricklayer], 1928 1928

Not on display

  • Artist Rooms
This is one of August Sander’s most iconic photographs, a bold and compelling portrait that displays his artistic skill at its best. The power of the image stems from its dramatic lighting, through which the bricklayer’s face, framed by bricks, emerges into clarity from the darkness behind. He stares directly into the lens, confident and assured. One hand is held to his hip while the other supports the bricks balanced precariously on a palette on his shoulders. This photograph belongs to Sander’s ambitious project ‘People of the 20th Century’, which was based on a quasi sociological analysis of Germany during this time. Sander divided his portraits into seven main groups: ‘The Farmer’, ‘The Skilled Tradesman’, ‘The Woman’, ‘Classes and Professions’, ‘The Artists, The City’ and ‘The Last People’. This photograph is from the group ‘The Skilled Tradesman’.


  • Acc. No. AL00038
  • Medium Photograph on paper; modern print by Gerd Sander
  • Size 26.00 x 18.30 cm (paper 44.00 x 33.90 cm; mount: 46.00 x 36.00 cm) (framed: 48.20 x 38.20 x 3.20 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010