Artwork of the Day – Karl Gussow

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Liverpool artwork of the day – Monday October 8 2007. ‘The Oyster Girl’ by Karl Gussow (Havelberg, 1843-1907) at the Walker

From the Catalogue of Foreign Art Acquisitions, 1984-2006

This portrayal of a young serving-girl, neatly-dressed in rural peasant costume, holding out a plate of opened oysters and a lemon, is typical of Gussow’s minutely detailed realism.1 Gussow was considered a leading nineteenth-century German exponent of the growing school known as ‘Naturalism’. Anton von Werner, the Director of the Berlin Academy, where Gussow taught between 1875 and 1880, described Gussow’s ideal as being “the exact reproduction of nature

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