Stella Grace Lyons gained her BA in the History of Art, 1st class, from the University of Bristol, and MA in History of Art at the University of Warwick. She spent a year studying Renaissance art in Italy at the British Institute of Florence, and three months studying Venetian art in Venice. In addition, she attended drawing classes at the prestigious Charles H. Cecil studios in Florence. In 2017, Stella was selected by the Arts Society to lecture at the launch of ‘Drawing Room Discussions’ in association with ROSL ARTS, hosted by Guardian arts correspondent Maev Kennedy. Stella runs her own Art History courses and she is also a regular lecturer in the UK and Europe for the Arts Society, National Trust, Contemporary Arts Society Wales (CASW), Classical Education Forum, WEA, and several travel companies. Stella also works as an artist’s model for the internationally renowned figurative artist, Harry Holland.
When we see Van Gogh’s work, we often look for signs of his tortured mind. But how much should we let the personality of the artist affect our reading of their work? A 2014 study found that we tend to like art more if we perceive the artist as unconventional, known as the ‘eccentricity effect’. This talk looks at works by particularly ‘eccentric’ artists and those on the other side of the coin, who had particularly ‘conservative’ personalities and day jobs and examines the idea that ‘an artist is only ever as good as his or her backstory’.