Lydia Corbett was born in Paris on 14th Nov 1934 and was named Sylvette David. Her father was an influential art dealer and painter, whose Champs Elysee gallery, David & Garnier, discovered and exhibited the now famous Bernard Buffet. Her mother was an award-winning student at the academie Julian, Paris. Due to a highly unconventional childhood, she has always been free from the normal constraints of learnt art.
As a young child her life was spent between Provence and a small island off the cote D’azure. Lydia passed her days in complete freedom, playing in the sea and admiring nature. The Alpine school of her early years, during the latter part of the war, was an open-minded art based primary that became a sanctuary for many families fleeing the Nazi peril. When Lydia was 16 her mother sent her off to school in Suffolk.
… a wonderful experience which changed my life
Lydia returned to France with her fiancé and in 1954 she met Pablo Picasso in the small, southern town of Vallauris. It was a wonderful experience which changed her life. Over three, Picasso painted about forty paintings of ‘Sylvette’ (as she was then called). Having moved to Paris, she then had her first child, Isabel, in 1963. Lydia’s father encouraged her to paint, and although driven to create, it wasn’t until she was 45 and living at Dartington Hall with 3 children that she began to paint in earnest.”
Lydia is both a painter and ceramicist. Her main body of work comprises of watercolours with pen and Indian ink, which depict her entire life. Lydia’s style has often been likened to that of Chagall. Latterly her style has changed with her age. Now 84 she paints predominantly in oils, in a bold and striking manner.
We are proud to have an exhibition of her work at the 2019 Doddiscombsleigh Art Show.