Arthur J LYONS

Mr Anthony J LYONS

The St Ives Times reports him as staying in the town in July 1914, having arrived from Paris, and described him as a "medalist of the Salon", after receiving a medal for a painting in 1909. His painting, depicting Kaiser Wilhelm being cooked in a pot with the allied commanders looking on and signed A Lyons, was the cover illustration for an issue of the St Ives Times which was sold - with monies from sale of the original going to the paper's "Tobacco for the Troops" fund.

David Tovey has written of Lyons' career more fully:  'Lyons was a London-born figure painter, who based himself in Paris in the pre-First World War years, and took refuge in St Ives for a while on the outbreak of the War.  However, whilst his stay was brief, he seems to have become fully involved with the community.  Fehrer records him as studying at the Julian Academy in 1900 under Bouguereau and Ferrier, and he first started exhibiting his work in Paris in 1908.  He also appears to have studied under J.P.Laurens, as he won a medal at the Salon in 1909 for his depiction of a banquet of Laurens’ students.  He came to St Ives in July 1914, took a house in Sea View Terrace and appears to have shared Edmund Fuller’s studio on the Quay.  In December 1914, he did a colour illustration for the St Ives Times depicting Kaiser Wilhelm being cooked in a pot with the allied commanders looking on, with monies raised from the sale going to the paper’s “Tobacco for the Troops” fund.  He also contributed to the Belgian Relief Fund. 

Lyons participated in Show Day in 1915, when his principal exhibit was Au Cinema, a painting of the interior of a Paris cinema, which he had shown at the Salon the previous year.  The reviewer was impressed, “Mr A.J.Lyons is an artist with a decided talent for portraiture and figure study.  His principal canvas Au Cinema has afforded ample scope for the display of his abilities in this direction.  It shows the interior of a cinema during a performance, and he has endeavoured to portray - and with much success - the varying types of features naturally found in such a place.  The figure of a soldier, who occupies the central position, is a splendid piece of portrait painting.  The amount of work put into the picture is amazing, but the quality throughout is well maintained.”  He also showed two other figure studies, The Blue Robe, described as ”an attractive and brilliantly coloured theme”, and Chrysanthemums.  In early April 1915, Lyons agreed to paint a 24” x 20” canvas, with the proceeds going to the Fire Relief Fund, set up when the Salvation Army building was burnt down that March, a disaster which resulted in a number of locals losing their livelihood.  However, this only seems to have been sold for 10s-6d (Edmund Fuller’s painting done for the same cause fetched £2-10 and William Parkyn’s £1-1).  However, on 23rd April 1915, the local paper noted that Lyons had resigned from the War Relief Fund, as he was leaving St Ives.  A painting of a Harlequinade dancer, dated 1915, one of the only works by him to have come on the market recently, is likely to have been done in London, where he was recorded as living for his exhibits in 1920.  He had one last success at the Paris Salon in 1928.' [Courtesy of David Tovey] 


Painter of landscapes, cartoonist

works and access

Works include: The Blue Robe (1915); Chrysanthemums (1915); Au Cinema (1915)

Access to work: St Ives Times colour cover illustration (December 1914) by Lyons depicted Kaiser Wilhelm being cooked in a pot with the allied commanders looking on; monies raised from the sale went to the paper's "Tobacco for the Troops" fund


Paris Salon 1908-1928 (Silver medallist 1909); L (3); RA (4); Paris (11); Show Day, St Ives: 1915




misc further info



St Ives Times 17 Jul 1914, 18 Dec 914 (illustrated edition b/w & col)

Crespon-Halotier  (2002) British Painters at the Paris Salons

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p335)

Johnson & Greutzner (2008)

Tovey (2009) St Ives: Social History (p361)

Whybrow (1994) St Ives, 1911-20 list, pp 216-8