This photographic self-portrait shows August Sander at the age of thirty. He is immaculately attired in a waistcoat, suit and bow tie, his warm woollen overcoat and wide-brimmed hat suggesting imminent travel. The camera’s soft focus on the background almost obscures the studio setting, where a light screen or wall has been painted in organic swirls that evoke foliage. The lighting directed from the left illuminates Sander’s facial features and the texture of his garments. Sander took a series of self-portraits while he lived and worked in Linz, before he moved to Cologne in 1909, probably in part to experiment with a variety of lighting and printing methods. The image is of particular interest in comparison with the picture taken of Sander by his son Gunter in 1956, and in considering the many formal bust portraits included in his monumental documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’.