August Sander’s monumental photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’ was conceived as a typology of the German people classified according to their estates, professions and living environments. Taken in Cologne, ‘Member of Parliament (Democrat)’ is the first photograph in the portfolio entitled ‘The Politician’. The member of parliament is shown in a spotless suit, a caped overcoat and black hat, appearing to lean against the white wall behind him. Rather than pointing it at the ground, he holds his umbrella with its tip pointing straight up against his body as he might shoulder a rifle, suggesting that he is ready for battle in the struggle for political power. The portfolio from which the photograph is taken portrays a range of politicians, but notably excludes National Socialists (they are instead included in the sub-portfolio National Socialists within the larger portfolio ‘The Soldier’, all photographed after the party’s rise to power in the early 1930s).