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Despite its French title this is a painting of a London 'costergirl', a woman who worked selling food from a barrow. Sickert was exhibiting paintings both in France and in London, and the title was probably given after it had been shown with his dealer Bernheim Jeune in Paris. He wrote 'Here I am deep in two divine costergirls - one with sunlight on her indoors. You know the trompe l'oeil hat all the coster girls wear here with a crown fitting the head inside and expanded outside to immense proportions. It's called an 'American sailor'(hat)'.

September 2004