The photo-books that August Sander produced as part of his monumental documentary project ‘People of the 20th Century’ represent an attempt to portray the general physiognomic characteristics of certain social and professional classes. By arranging his photographs of individuals and groups of people in series, he aimed to identify and define what was typical about their appearances. This photograph is from a series of hand studies that Sander compiled in 1944. The studies are enlargements of details from pictures he had taken mainly during the 1920s and 1930s. Rather than emphasising their shared physical traits, the series focuses on variations between the hands portrayed which belong to different professional types, ranging from manual labourers to businessmen and artists. The hands shown in this picture belong to Sander’s younger son Gunther (1907–87), who followed in his father’s footsteps as a professional photographer.