Gosse, Laura Sylvia (1881-1968)

(1881-1968) Laura Gosse, known as Sylvia Gosse, was the daughter of the Victorian novelist Edmund Gosse. Her atmospheric and detailed depictions of cities and their populace draw the viewer into their midst. Her compositions urge the illusion that we are directly involved in the scene portrayed. Sylvia’s realist aesthetic and use of photographic sources were the legacy of her training under Walter Sickert at the Westminster School of Fine Arts. Sylvia continued to work closely with Sickert and his contemporaries who formed the Camden Town Group. Gosse’s travels allowed her to study different European cultures and their idiosyncracies. She also depicted interiors, and these recall Sickert’s, cluttered as they were with wallpaper and the props of bourgeois urban life. The reliability of Gosse’s oeuvre, as documentation of contemporary urban life, belies its capacity to surprise. These images warrant close attention, unravelling stories and possibilities before their audience.

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