Duncan Grant: A Biography and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a 2.49 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Duncan Grant: A Biography on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Duncan Grant: A Biography [Paperback]

Frances Spalding
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
Price: 18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
You Save: 1.01 (5%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Friday, 19 Sep.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 8.03  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 18.99  
Trade In this Item for up to 2.49
Trade in Duncan Grant: A Biography for an Amazon Gift Card of up to 2.49, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

2 July 1998
The life of the painter and designer Duncan Grant spanned great changes in society and art, from Edwardian Britain to the 1970s, from Alma-Tadema to Gilbert and George. This authoritive biography combines an engrossing narrative with an invaluable assessment of Grant's individual achievement and his place within Bloomsbury and in the wider development of British art. 'Spalding's skill is to sketch out the intricate emotional web against the bright bold untouchable figure of the artist. . . Her achievement is to let that sense of a man living with his craft shine through on every page: the result is an exceptionally honest and warm portrait. ' Financial Times

Frequently Bought Together

Duncan Grant: A Biography + Deceived With Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood + Charleston: A Bloomsbury House and Gardens
Price For All Three: 37.87

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; New Ed edition (2 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712666400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712666404
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.7 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 261,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


"Spalding makes a powerful case for the dynamism that came of Grant's eclecticism" -- Andrea Barnet New York Times "Spalding faultlessly illuminates his charming character" Independent

Book Description

The first ever biography of Duncan Grant - one of the best known names in the British art scene and the most charismatic member or the Bloomsbury set.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, Absorbing and Vibrant 8 Jun 2012
This excellent publication by art historian Frances Spalding is a wonderfully intimate, yet scholarly biography of the painter and designer Duncan Grant (1885-1978) a key figure of the Bloomsbury Group and an artist whose long life spanned great changes in both society and art.

Duncan Grant was born in the Scottish Highlands, but spent his early childhood in India and Burma, where his father, Major Bartle Grant, was stationed. Duncan returned to England for his schooling and, at the age of fourteen, he entered St Paul's School, where during his two years at the school he won seven prizes for art. From St Paul's he went on to Westminster School of Art and it was at this time that he lived with the Strachey family, who were relations of the Grants. This brought Duncan into contact with his Strachey cousins, notably Lytton Strachey, and thus into the orbit of the writers, artists and thinkers who formed the Bloomsbury Group. After two visits to Paris to study art, Duncan returned to London and in 1910 when he was exhibiting his pictures at the New English Art Club, Duncan became more involved with the art critic, Roger Fry, who was responsible for bringing the first and radical Post-Impressionist Art Exhibition to London which ran from November 1910 until January 1911. Duncan visited the show many times and was very impressed with the pictures exhibited which inspired him to experiment more boldly with form and with his colour palette and, in doing so, he helped break the mould of Edwardian Painting. Duncan was, however, imbued with a love of the past and, with his talent, he was able to translate many past traditions into modern forms of art.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read. 4 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a very good book and one of the few about Duncan Grant. I wanted to know more about him as I am a guide at Lincoln Cathedral and he decorated one of the side chapels. He was a very interesting character and I learned a great deal from this book about his life within the Bloomsbury set. I would certainly recommend it for someone with a particular interest in this artist and his world.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pallid bio of Intriguing Painter 1 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
In many ways the painter Duncan Grant is one of the most intriguing members of the Bloomsbury group. A homosexual, he was lover to many of the celebrated male members of that circle: Lytton Strachey, Maynard Keynes, etc. Yet he also chose to live for 40 years with, (& father a child by), the painter Vanessa Bell. Frances Spalding has perviously written an admirable bio of V. Bell, & Grant's family asked her to tackle Grant, with lukewarm results. To me, the process of painting is unexplainable, the best attempt ever written, to my mind, is Maugham's "Moon & Sixpence,"; Spalding's attempts at describing Grant's artistic processes fall flat, & frankly are boring. More interesting to me are the almost incredible personal events that swirled around Grant; That notable procession of lovers, the extraordinary relationship with Bell, the bizarre fact that Grant had affairs with his Daughter's uncle, future husband, & lover! What did Duncan Grant have that so many people wanted? What did he really think of the curious relationship between himself & Bell & their daughter Angelica (who did not know till she was 18 that she was his daughter.) Why would a woman like Vanessa Bell essentially give up her sexual life to live with Grant? And why did Grant, an enthusiastic homosexual, choose to devote a major portion of his life to this woman? Spalding had complete access to Grant's papers & letters, but her feeble attempts to explain Grant's character (beyond his apparent physical beauty, he is called "charming" so many times that I lost count) are pallid. Prehaps, in the end, apart from Grant's enormous talent for painting-and we get a rather niggardly peek at the work-there was no "there there." Read Spalding's "Vanessa Bell: A Biography" for a sharper view of the people & events surrounding Grant's unusual life, "Duncan Grant" is a disappointment.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent biography, a pleasure to read 24 Nov 1999
By "auden" - Published on Amazon.com
Marvellous, Spalding's skill is to sketch out the intricate emotional web against the bright bold untouchable figure of the artist. Her achievement is to let that sense of a man living with a craft shine through on every page: the result in an exceptionally honest and warm portrait. Her tone is objective but sympathetic and generous. This biography accomplishes what is, or should be, the biographer's highest goal: it does not come between the reader and the subject.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category