Girl with Cigarette
Agnes Noyes Goodsir was born in Portland, Victoria, in 1864. In the period 1889-99, she studied under Arthur T. Woodward at the Bendigo School of Mines. Woodward encouraged his students to study in Paris, and Goodsir took her teacher's advice, travelling to the French capital to continue her training.
Between 1908 and 1918, Goodsir lived in England, but moved back to Paris in 1921. The body of work produced during the next period of her career includes some of her finest paintings, among them Girl with Cigarette, c.1925.
This is a portrait of Rachel Dunn, the artist's long-term companion and the subject of numerous works from Goodsir's second Paris period. Wearing a boldly patterned shawl over a pullover, her outfit accessorized by a hat and fan, and with a cigarette in her hand, Cherry, as she was referred to by Goodsir, typifies the 1920s flapper - confident and independent in demeanour, relaxed and comfortable within the cafe environment.
In 1927, Goodsir visited Australia for two exhibitions, in Melbourne and Sydney, but she received minimal recognition, selling only a small number of works. She returned to Paris, where she remained until her death in 1939.