Albert RENGER-PATZSCH, Sempervivum percarneum Enlarge 1 /1


Germany 1897 – 1966

Sempervivum percarneum [Sempervivum percarneum (house-leek)] 1922/3 Page: plate 5 in in Die Welt ist schön
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: printed image 22.7 h x 16.9 w cm sheet 23.1 h x 17.1 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1983
Accession No: NGA 83.137

Renger-Patzsch was always firmly committed to the principle of the photograph as a document or record of an object. While the title for his most famous contribution to photography came from his publisher, he wanted his now-iconic 1928 book Die Welt ist schön (The world is beautiful) to be titled simply Die Dinge (Things). In 1937 he wrote that the images in his book, which includes these three photographs, ‘consciously portray the attraction and charm of the surface’. Indeed, the power of these pictures resides in their straightforwardness.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra