Born into a well-off family of Welsh origin, he started studying commerce but soon abandoned his studies. From 1894 to 1899 he studied in Leghorn in the studio of Guglielmo Micheli, a pupil of Fattori, alongside Modigliani, Romiti, Martinelli and Ghiglia. What he learned from Fattori and perfected in Florence where Lloyd moved to continue painting under the master, was to continue to influence his work, as was continuous comparison with contemporary Italian and European developments.
The subject matter of his early works painted from life are boats anchored in the port of Leghorn, the coastline from Ardenza to Antignano and inland landscapes from Montenero to Castelnuovo. He followed Fattori’s courses in Florence at the Accademia di Belle Arti, got to know Telemaco Signorini and Adriano Cecioni and concentrated on Tuscan 15th century art. He exhibited for the first time in 1897, at the Exhibition of the “Promotrice Fiorentina”, with the painting “Mattino al Calambrone” (Morning at Calambrone) while in 1898, and still in Florence, he presented three works: “Quiete” (Peace), “Autunno” (Autumn), and “Sorge la luna” (Moonrise), a work much liked by Signorini.
In 1904, following a brief stay in Venice he moved permanently to Florence. At the turn of the twentieth century Florence was a thriving artistic and cultural centre and Lloyd, together with other artists from Leghorn – Giulio Cesare Vinzio, Ghiglia and, for a short time, Modigliani – joined the famous coterie of artists made up of Costetti, Gemignani, Enrico Sacchetti, Andreotti, Luigi Michelacci, Giuseppe Graziosi, Soffici and Spadini. In the same period Lloyd exhibited more and more and used Divisionist technique in his numerous landscapes painted between 1903 and 1904 in the “Cinque Terre” area, in particular at Manarola “I ponti di Manarola” (Bridges at Manarola), 1904; “Tramonto a Manarola” (Sunset at Manarola), 1904, where he stayed in the company of the Divisionist artists Guglielmo Amedeo Lori and Antonio Discovolo, exponents of the so-called “Gruppo di Albaro”. Meanwhile Divisionist works included Tuscan landscapes such as “Palaia”, “Le gremignaie” (The wasteland), “Alba di Antignano” (Dawn at Antignano). At the 1907 “Promotrice fiorentina” he exhibited alongside Costetti, Ghiglia, Graziosi and De Carolis in the “Secessionist” room. In September of the same year he went for the first time to Elba where he produced works including “L’osteria chiusa” (The Closed Tavern), “La casa nel torrente” (The House on the River), “Il cantiere distrutto” (The Destroyed Builder’s Yard) that were shown at the 1909 Venice Biennial. By now the Divisionist technique had been abandoned.
In 1914 he exhibited at the Rome Secession with the “Giovine Etruria” group that advocated reviving Tuscan art that had deteriorated into repeating late Macchiaioli canons. IN this period he started to work incessantly, taking part at the most important Italian and foreign exhibitions where he showed the works produced on the island of Elba where he stayed regularly for a few months each year.
In 1922 in Florence he showed at the “Fiorentina Primaverile” and in 1923, with Soffici, Primo Conti, Baccio Maria Bacci, Ottone Rosai and Ghiglia at the “Mostra della Corporazione delle Arti Decorative” that a little later became the “Sindacato delle Belle Arti”. In 1929 he was commissioned to paint the warships of the national navy and, with Giulio Aristide Sartorio and Alessandro Pomi, he sailed on the “Quarto”, going to Spain, Portugal and Tripolitania, where he produced works that were successful at the “III Mostra d Arte Marinara” in Rome. That same year the book “La Pittura dell’Ottocento in Italia” was published. From 1931 to 1939 he exhibited five times at the “Galleria d’Arte Firenze”, and regularly showed at the exhibitions in Leghorn of “Bottega d’Arte” and for the many events organised by the Leghorn Group. In 1944 during the war he was arrested because he was a British citizen and sent to concentration camps, first at Fossoli and then at Baviera, where he stayed until May 1945. When he returned to Italy he stayed in Florence as a guest of Roberto Papini who, after the artist’s death, wrote about the artist in a book called “Tempi andati” (1951).
Written by: Gioela Massagli – Translated by: Catherine Biggerstaff
© Studio d’Arte dell’800