With her long blonde hair tied in a ponytail, Sylvette David is familiar from many of Picasso’s paintings. She met the artist in the South of France as a teenager and became one of his models – his muse but never his mistress — during the spring of 1954 (Picasso’s relationship with Françoise Gilot had ended and he hadn’t yet met Jacqueline Roque). A collection of drawings, paintings, metal sculptures and ceramics documenting their relationship can now be seen in the Kunsthalle Bremen’s exhibition Sylvette, Sylvette, Sylvette: Picasso and the Model (until 22 June). And in London, the Francis Kyle Gallery, 9 Maddox Street, W1, is showing some of Sylvette’s own work (she changed her name to Lydia Corbett): World in a Flower (until 3 April), watercolours done over the past two years. Corbett has said that she will always be grateful to Picasso for his kindness – giving her the confidence to follow in his footsteps.
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