August Sander’s monumental photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’ comprises seven groups representing the social structures and classes of his time. This portrait is from the portfolio entitled ‘City Youth’ within the sixth group, ‘The City’. Sander had a particular interest in documenting the social ‘types’ that were emerging with the rapid modernisation of his native Germany. One phenomenon to which he paid particular attention was a new youth culture, arising from the politicisation of young people and their increasing fashion consciousness. The subject shown here is representative of a new generation of young people who were developing an autonomous political consciousness and opinion. The young man’ serious and pensive expression makes him appear older than his years. It contrasts with the nonchalant attitude depicted in other portraits from the same portfolio, such as ‘Grammar School Boy’ (1926) which illustrates the increasing concern of modern young people with clothing styles.