The photographic series was a method that was central to Sander’s form of social documentary. In his photo-books, pictures of individuals and groups of people were presented not as isolated images but as elements in a series. Sander’s intention was to reveal the general physiognomic characteristics of a particular social class or professional type by juxtaposing a large number of images of their representatives. This photograph is from a book of hand studies that Sander compiled in 1944. His choice of focusing on a study of hands indicates his belief that they may reveal a great deal about the social status or trade of a person. With its long, narrow fingers, its well-manicured nails and its sensitive gesture recalling a figure in an old master painting, the delicate hand shown in this photograph evokes artistic expression, an impression that is confirmed by its identifying title, ‘Hand of a Tenor’.