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’. Composed of over 500 images, Sander divided the opus into seven groups and over 45 portfolios according to the living environments, professions and estates of his subjects. The first group in the series is ‘The Farmer’, which contains twelve portfolios; this image appears in the portfolio, ‘The Farmer’s Child and the Mother’. Sander’s professional ambition extended beyond the creation of individual portraits to the compilation of a unified series that would function as a social document of its time, valuable to historians and future audiences. As the portfolio’s title implies, the focus is the exploration of the familial life of the rural population, represented here by a grandmother and granddaughter posing formally before a flowered wallpaper and wooden door. The sparseness of the background and absence of props focus the viewer’s attention entirely on woman and child and their earnest gaze.