This tightly framed bust portrait belongs to the portfolio ‘The Industrialist’, from the group ‘The Skilled Tradesman’ in August Sander’s ambitious photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’ that he compiled over several decades. The portfolio originated to some extent in commissions documenting the companies for which the industrialists worked. Here, the industrialist’s calm expression and steady gaze illustrate Sander’s uncommon ability to set his subjects at ease. The carefully controlled lighting and muted background of grey and black suggest that this is a studio setting. The darkness of the industrialist’s suit is offset by his contrasting white shirt collar and pocket handkerchief and their echoes in a gleaming button and tiepin, but his face and steady gaze are the focal point of the composition.