Farmer Sowing, 1952
© Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2015

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Farmer Sowing, 1952 1952
  • Artist Rooms
August Sander divided more than 500 images that made up his photographic opus ‘People of the 20th Century’ into seven groups and 45 portfolios. The group ‘The Farmer’ contains twelve portfolios and this image is included in the portfolio ‘The Farmer – His Life and Work’. As this photograph illustrates, Sander’s work is situated between the portrait photography of the nineteenth century and the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) of the twentieth century. The farmer’s gesture is the subject of the photograph and represents a physically demanding, highly active working day. The farmer leans back, his right knee bent and head crooked, arm extended to sow his seed. The image has a notable depth of field, extending beyond the freshly ploughed earth, by hedgerows and trees into the horizon. Shot in 1952, the image emphasises the return to traditional farming methods in Germany of immediate post-war years, though the lack of machinery.


  • Acc. No. AL00022
  • Medium Black and white photograph on paper
  • Size 26.00 x 20.40 cm (paper 44.00 x 33.90 cm; mount: 46.00 x 36.00 cm) (framed: 48.20 x 38.20 x 3.20 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010