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Minnie Cunningham was a popular music hall performer of the 1890s whom Sickert admired. He first exhibited this picture with the subtitle ‘I’m an old hand at love, though I’m young in years’, a quotation from one of her songs.

This picture echoes some of the theatre scenes of the French artist Edgar Degas, whom Sickert greatly respected and counted as a friend. Sickert was a principal conduit for transmitting new French aesthetics into Britain. He championed Impressionism

and then Post-Impressionism

in the face of great critical hostility.

May 2011