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Blacksmith, about 1930
© Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2015

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Blacksmith, about 1930 about 1930

Not on display

  • Artist Rooms
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.


  • Acc. No. AL00031
  • Medium Black and white photograph on paper
  • Size 25.80 x 19.90 cm (paper 44.00 x 34.00 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