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The Sage
© Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2015

Reference URL

The Sage 1913

Not on display

  • Artist Rooms
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’. He divided his project into seven groups and the series began with photographs of rural farmers in the Westerwald region, in a group he called ‘The Farmer’. This photograph stands out for its relative informality; since many of his early portraits were commissioned. Very tightly framed, this portrait omits narrative background detail and the gestural communication of the subject’s hands, while the natural light, which Sander sought, evenly illuminates the man’s deeply etched face. The intimacy suggested by its close frame is echoed in the subject’s every-day rough-spun clothing and untrimmed beard. Shot outdoors, the scene suggests a fleeting, but typical moment of daily life within the man’s familiar environment.


  • Acc. No. AL00005
  • Medium Black and white photograph on paper
  • Size 25.90 x 19.00 cm (paper 44.00 x 34.00 cm; mount: 46.00 x 36.00 cm; frame: 48.20 x 38.20 x 3.20 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010