August SanderFarming Couple - Propriety and Harmony 1912, printed 1990

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Artwork details

August Sander (1876‑1964)
Farming Couple - Propriety and Harmony
Bauernpaar - Zucht und Harmonie
Date 1912, printed 1990
MediumPhotograph, gelatin silver print on paper
Dimensionsimage: 258 x 187 mm
ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010
On long term loan
Not on display


This photograph is a three-quarter-length double portrait of an elderly farming couple posed formally outdoors in a natural setting. The man, who seems visually impaired, is seated and holds the end of a wooden walking stick, while the standing female figure clasps the wrinkled fingers of her left hand with her right hand, the short sleeves of her outfit exposing her gnarled wrists and forearms. They both appear in formal attire but their clothes are rather ill-fitting.

The photograph was taken by August Sander using a large format, glass plate camera with a long exposure time, the kind primarily used in portrait studios. This is one of many photographs taken by him of rural people from the wooded low mountain region of Westerwald in the German federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, and North Rhine-Westphalia. Westerwald was the region where the photographer was born, and it was where he travelled in search of new clients after setting up his portrait studio in Cologne-Lindenthal in 1910, having returned to Germany the previous year from Linz, Austria… (read more)

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