August Sander divided his photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’ into seven groups and more than 45 portfolios. ‘Blacksmith’ is included in the portfolio ‘The Mastercraftsman’, classified in the second group ‘The Skilled Tradesman’. Here Sander explored traditional trades by photographing representatives within their working environment. This portrait is a formal study of a blacksmith in his workplace: hammer in hand, he leans on the anvil in front of the furnace with his left fist planted on his hip, gazing squarely into the camera lens. This photograph exemplifies Sander’s exemplary technical skill, its dark but richly textured background providing a dramatic backdrop for the blacksmith’s leather apron and pale striped shirt, the light picking out the detailed definition of the masonry pedestal and arch.