In the 1950s, Lydia Corbett was introduced to Pablo Picasso at Vallauris on the French Riviera. At this time, Picasso was breaking-up with his wife Francois Gilot, and Lydia’s presence brought a new and positive phase to his work. She became the model for a series of forty works of art. She was known then as Sylvette David, but changed her name during this period. The ‘Heads of Sylvette’ a series of moulded metal sculptures which Picasso worked on through this time, introduced a new major innovation in this work.
In 1968, Lydia decided to move to England and gave all her creative energy to painting. She has been exhibiting ever since and has had numerous shows in London, Europe and Japan. The Anthony Petullo Foundation, one of the most influential collections in America, has a collection of Lydia’s watercolours. In 1993 the Tate Gallery staged a major exhibition of Picasso’s sculpture and paintings. A documentary film on Lydia, and her friend and mentor, was shown on BBC2 at the same time.
Lydia’s beautiful paintings in both oil and watercolour sparkle and take on many subjects. Her fluid lines bring new life to these familiar themes, infusing them with warmth and sunlight. Her ‘assured and gentle approach to the human figure’, as one critic put it, recalls the work of Marc Chagall.
Her pictures are highly distinctive and immediately recognisable. She is very much an international painter and has many fans in the UK and abroad.