Intrépide: Australian women artists in early twentieth-century France
by Clem Gorman and Therese Gorman
Monash University Publishing, $34.95 pb, 268 pp
Art and Paris meant everything to Agnes Goodsir. ‘You must forgive my enthusiasm,’ she wrote. ‘Nothing else is of the smallest or faintest importance besides that.’ Goodsir was the Australian artist who painted the iconic portrait Girl with Cigarette, now in the Bendigo Art Gallery. It depicts a cool, sophisticated, free-spirited woman of the Parisian boulevards. When Goodsir created it, in 1925 or thereabouts, she had lived in Paris since the turn of the century. Apart from brief visits back to Australia, she stayed there until her death in 1939.
Goodsir is one of the better known of the twenty-eight artists whose careers are followed in this engaging and often enlightening book: other stars include Margaret Olley, Margaret Preston, and Stella Bowen.