August Sander, Konfirmandin (Confirmation Candidate), 1911 (printed 1959)
August Sander (1876 – 1964) endeavored to document society across Germany, revealing the complexity and universality of the human condition with his commitment to ‘telling the truth’. A selection of Sander’s portraits from his celebrated, encyclopaedic series ‘People of the 20th Century’.
Sander’s first photographic portrait studio was established in Cologne in 1910. In the year that followed, he documented a child on her Christian confirmation day in rural Germany, as part of the portfolio within his People of the 20th Century magnum opus, ‘The Young Farmer’. It was not until the 1920s that Sander would consolidate this huge body of work into a formal research project and continue it until 1954, affirming it as ‘a declaration of faith in photography as universal language’. In these early portraits such as ‘Konfirmandin (Confirmation Candidate)’, Sander portrays pastoral families in their Sunday-best, an insight on how these communities chose to present themselves to the camera.