From an early age Duncan Grant wanted to be an artist.
He studied drawing technique at Westminster School of Art from 1903, where he became interested in the work of Whistler, Degas and the Impressionists.
Grant was encouraged by Simon Bussy, a painter and family friend who knew Matisse, to copy from old masters and to paint every day, a practice Grant continued throughout
The influence of Whistler and Bussy can be seen in
Grant's portrait of Lytton Strachey of 1909, which focuses on the mood and atmosphere of the subject.
Duncan Grant, Lytton Strachey, circa 1909
© Tate Archive, 2003