Born in Scotland, Grant studied at the Westminster School of Art from 1902 to 1905 and he then went to Paris where he enrolled at the École de la Palette. Whilst In Paris he met Matisse and Picasso and became deeply influenced by the modern French School. When he returned to London he spent a year studying at the Slade School. Closely allied to Roger Fry and Vanessa and Clive Bell, he was a key figure in the Omega Workshops from 1913 to 1919. Grant was represented in Fry's second Post-Impressionist exhibition at the Grafton Gallery in 1912. His own artistic idiom matured during the 1920s, combining decorative gifts with a mastery of formal construction manifested in many of his portraits, such as Vanessa Bell (Tate Gallery), and the best of his still lifes and landscapes. While the elements of his style were all present by the end of the 1920s, his painting retained exceptional freshness and vitality through to the 1970s. Clive Bell described him as 'England's greatest painter', and he achieved much commercial success early on, although he was neglected and underrated later in his career. His work possessed great decorative qualities and his lyrical use of paint and colour brought him widespread acclaim particularly in the 1920s and 30s. He painted figures, landscapes and still-lifes and collaborated with Vanessa Bell on large scale mural work. He experimented with a variety of styles including abstraction, but he remained essentially a Post-Impressionist. The Tate Gallery staged a retrospective exhibition in 1959. His work is held in public collections worldwide including the Tate Gallery and the National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh. An in depth biography of his life and work by Frances Spalding was published in 1997 by Chatto & Windus.
Please note that The Court Gallery holds a substantial collection of Duncan Grant's work - many more items than are shown on our website. Please contact the gallery for further details.