published by GAE, November 2003
Just as I was editing the last Newsletter on 25 July, a long obituary appeared in the Daily Telegraph on a Goddard of whom, I must confess, I was previously unaware. Jacqueline Marthe Barsotti was born on 13 November 1911 to a French mother and Italian father, who was a prolific sculptor. Her early childhood was spent in Paris where her father had a studio. By her own admission she was a difficult child: "I was not popular then, I became impossible, and have remained so". After the Armistice she went with her father to live near Carera in Italy; her mother was persuaded to join them, but disliked Italy and took to drink, so Jacqueline was sent to school at the Giuseppine College at Pisa. Although she initially showed promise, her behaviour was such that the nuns eventually asked her to leave. She then occupied herself learning to drive a Harley Davidson motorcycle with no hands, while revolving on the saddle. When she was 17, a tall beauty with unruly fair hair, her parents returned to Montparnasse in Paris where her father died not long afterwards.
Her entree to the artistic world came when an Argentinian sculptor asked her to pose for a head. As she described it: "I replaced my rather disastrous family by the most brilliant personalities of the century". She knew Giacometti, Matisse and Picasso among painters, Somerset Maugham and Georges Simenon among writers, and modeled for Foujita, Mayo and the surrealist artist and photographer Man Ray. To support herself she would sit for a portrait when one of her rich friends wanted to add a famous artist to their collection; she would then buy the picture and sell it to her friend at a profit, though for less than a gallery would have charged.
Jacqueline dropped out of the artistic limelight when she married Major Creed Creed-Miles of the Royal Artillery in 1938. They had two sons, but the marriage was dissolved in 1946. She then married in 1949 Ivor Goddard, a photographer on the Isle of Wight, where she lived until her death on 17 July aged 91, never losing her French accent and writing a personal memoir in which she recalled her experiences and made piquant observations on the personalities she had come to know.