“He was a simply a kind father figure to me.  A Godfather.  You see, he gave me so much.  He gave me everything.”

Lydia Corbett, formerly known as Sylvette David, was speaking to me of her relationship with Pablo Picasso.  As a young woman she had been his muse and model, ‘the Girl with the Ponytail,’ and then went on to become a renowned artist and ceramicist in her own right.

Her paintings are full of symbolism and whimsy, with her young self frequently represented almost as an alter-ego.  The sense is expressed through her work that she has left Sylvette behind; yet a few moments in her company show that the heart of that exquisite and ethereal young woman beats strongly on.

Surrounded by her warm and supportive family, Lydia was present at the Private View for her exhibition at Primrose Hill’s Beside the Wave Gallery, held jointly with David Simon Contemporary Art, a prominent Bath gallery.  She signed copies of the new book ‘I was Sylvette,’ written by her eldest daughter Isabel Coulton with a heart-warming introduction by her son-in-law (and former England rugby captain) Lawrence Dallaglio.

Copies of the book are available here:

A catalogue of the exhibition can be found here:

Lydia Corbett: La Danse de la Vie

Beside the Wave Gallery, Primrose Hill

14-27 October 2016

© 2016 Joanna Reeves, all rights reserved

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