There was no British artist for whom Picasso’s example proved more invigorating in the period before the First World War than Duncan Grant (1885–1979).
Grant spent a considerable amount of time in Paris during this period. In 1907 he met the great collectors Leo and Gertrude Stein and through them, in 1912, met Picasso himself. At the Steins’ apartment Grant saw Picasso’s Nude with Drapery 1907, and its related studies. He quickly adopted the African-inspired figures and decorative patterning that characterised both this work and a major painting of the same year by Picasso, Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon.
Later, Grant would respond to the papier collés (collages) pioneered by Picasso and his Cubist colleague Georges Braque. Indeed, Grant recalled contributing to Picasso’s art by handing him rolls of nineteenth-century wallpaper which he had found in his Paris hotel room and which Picasso needed. Picasso’s influence can also be seen in the designs Grant made for the Omega Workshops. While Grant’s art moved away from such concerns following the First World War, he remained in contact with Picasso until the latter’s death in 1973.