(b. 1847, Berlin, d. 1935, Berlin)

Plucking Geese

Oil on canvas, 172 x 118 cm
Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Liebermann, the eldest of the leading German Impressionists, had roots in realism. Like most of his fellow travellers, he had enjoyed academic training. In 1871 he met Mihály Munkácsy, and the impact of the Hungarian's art confirmed Liebermann in his wish to paint a scene of everyday life in the earthy brown so prized by the realists. This picture was Plucking Geese, a meticulous composition for all its vigorous brushwork.

This painting was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1874. It had been damned two years earlier in Berlin as representing "the absolute in ugliness."