August Sander took a systematic approach in compiling his ambitious documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’, which was based on a quasi-sociological analysis of modern Germany. He divided his photographs into seven groups representing the social divisions and classes of the day: ‘The Farmer’, ‘The Skilled Tradesman’, ‘The Woman’, ‘Classes and Professions’, ‘The Artists,’ ‘The City’ and ‘The Last People’. This portrait is from the portfolio entitled ‘Travelling People – Gypsies and Transients’, which depicts people living on the fringes of urban life within the group, ‘The City’. It shows two gypsies photographed in a studio in front of a neutral white background. Countering prejudiced perceptions of gypsies as uncultured and wild, the two men are portrayed in a manner that expresses a sense of elegance and sophistication. Although their jackets are somewhat crumpled and their hair unfashionably long and tousled, the gypsies evoke exotic artistic bohemianism rather than social down-and-outs.