In 1924 Sander set out to create Menschen des 20 Jahrhunderts (Citizens of the Twentieth Century), an encyclopedia of portraits. His intention was to record groups of people from different social levels in Germany, ranging from artists and musicians, doctors and aristocrats, farmers to circus performers. Although the publication of Citizens of the Twentieth Century did not occur in his lifetime, Sander's 1929 Antlitz der Zeit (Citizens of the Time), included 60 of his portraits and for the time marked an innovative departure for book publishing, as what was considered one of the first "photo books". Like Albert Renger-Patzsch's 1928 book The World is Beautiful, Citizens of the Time, presented photographs more as works of art rather than illustrations.
The image offered here was included in both the 1929 Citizens of the Time and in portfolio IV, Occupations: Doctors, of Citizens of the Twentieth Century, which was posthumously published in 1980.